The US Monument industry relies heavily on imports of monument blanks. Until just a few years ago, China accounted for almost the entirety of granite monument exports making its way into America. But over the last few years, Indian monument exporters have and are trying to aggressively capture market share in the American Market. Once you read this article, you will understand why importing monuments from China is not as alluring an idea as it initially seems to be. You will also understand why it would be prudent to instead import from an established Indian granite monument manufacturer and exporter.
Importing Chinese Granite Monuments? REASONS NOT TO
Chinese companies buy granite from India!
It is estimated that almost 45% of India’s granite is bought by China. This essentially means that Chinese companies are using Indian granite to make monuments, among other things such as slabs, construction material etc. This is not to say that China doesn’t have its own granite. But we will cover why China needs Indian granite for monuments in a separate section a little later. Coming back to China importing India granite, it just takes common sense to understand the obvious cost disadvantage the need for importing raw material creates. While the mature Indian monument industry has strategically built itself around rich granite quarry belts in India, Chinese companies have to pay significant charges towards import duties and transportation of quality Indian granite into their factories.
Cost wise, the Indian monument industry simply has better prices to offer. Want to find out for yourself? Do a quick search for wholesale granite monument suppliers to check out top monument manufacturers from India. While Indian prices are extremely competitive for the expertise, quality and consistency on offer, some Chinese companies might still underquote them from time to time. But you must evaluate such quotations with a grain of salt. This brings us to the second point of why you shouldn’t import monuments from Chinese companies, even if the price seems very inviting.
Chinese companies use predatory pricing practices
If the price is too good to be true, it often isn’t true. China as an economy has been known to aggressively adopt the predatory pricing strategy, particularly in grey granite which constitutes most of the monument export container volume. With primarily grey monuments, the overall price of a container of monuments would therefore be cheaper from China. Predatory pricing strategy is where China enters a market with prices that undercut the competition, sometimes quite aggressively, to then try to drive out existing players. Once this strategy works and they have monopolized the market as suppliers, they drive prices back to normal, or worse – higher than before.
While this strategy has served them well in the past, it will not work when it comes to granite monuments. Why? Because China buys all their Black granite monument raw material from India as the famed Shanshi Black Quarries in China have weakened or closed due to over exploitation over the years. While India does export a lot of its Black granite to China, it only does so because the country’s granite resources are so rich and abundant. It is only a matter of time before India either limits its monument granite raw block exports to China or increases its prices due to Government restrictions, both of which will have a telling effect on the Chinese monument manufacturing business. India also now offers beautiful grey doppelganger granite stones (see doppelganger list below) that are close lookalikes to popular American granite stones and also much superior to Chinese grey granites. This essentially means that China’s advantage in grey granite monuments will also be eventually lost.
When it comes to monument businesses in the USA, you want to work with a supply partner who can give you consistent quality monuments at a consistent price. China will not be able to honor both of these critical requirements your monument business needs for long-term success. Would you want to work with a Chinese company that lures you in with cheap prices only to yank out the rug from under your feet a few months or years down the line? In the monuments business, you are only as good as your supply chain!
On the other hand, take India’s Monument Manufacturers. Most of them are a 50+ year old monument export business in India. Besides operating state-of-the-art monument making factories in the Chennai & Salem Belt, most factory owners also own their Black granite quarries in India. These quarries give them exclusive access to quality monument stone that they use to make quality monuments.
China doesn’t have Black Granite
When it comes to monument stones, black as a stone color simply reigns supreme. This is particularly true if you look at recent trends. Why? Colors like Absolute Black provide the best background to carry out customizations such as etching, sculpting and drawings. Chinese monument companies simply don’t have access to this pure black granite. Factories in India own several black granite quarries that give them exclusive access to a consistently rich and blackest of black granites from anywhere in India & the world.
Chinese Granite is NOT as Durable as Indian Granite
India’s granite is technically vastly superior to China’s granite. This explains why China themselves turn to India to import a majority of the granite they use, despite having vast granite deposits of their own. To begin with, Chinese black granite is geologically termed as Gabbro rock. They are quarried from geographically disadvantaged areas which means that their granite is less dense and prone to several imperfections such as hairline cracks, pitting and other imperfections, often not visible to the naked eye. On the contrary, Indian Black granite is Dolerite, which is true magma. Chinese granite also has significantly lesser quartzite content than Indian granite, making it less robust and durable.
Lastly, Chinese granite is also porous and prone to absorbing water over time. When used for monuments that are laid out in the open and at the mercy of the elements, Indian granite easily outlasts Chinese granite. One must remember that a monument will be visited for generations. It is therefore important that the monument stone be capable of lasting a long time as well.
Chinese Granite Colors are NOT Exclusive Colors
One aspect where China has managed to impress American monument customers is by presenting what are called doppelgangers or lookalike stones that look similar to popular stones that are native only to the USA and Canada. This is often seen in the lighter colours that Chinese companies try to showcase in their catalogs. But, here too, India beats China when it comes to providing doppelganger granites with higher quality.
Take a look at Indian doppelganger granite stones for example. Many of the below granites are close lookalikes to very popular domestic stone found in USA and Canada & are all quarried in India and cut and finished to create beautiful monuments at affordable prices that can’t be matched. And remember, these Indian doppelganger stones are vastly superior to Chinese doppelgangers you may have been interested in, for the geological reasons mentioned earlier.
|Barre Grey||Urban Grey|
|Dakota Mahogany||Indian Mahogany|
|Elberton Grey / Light Grey||Sera Grey|
|Morning Rose||Mango Grey|
|Mystic Rose||India Pink|
|American Black||Black Forest|
So, there you have it. Several reasons why you must not import granite monuments from China but instead import from India, the country of origin for the best monument granite raw material from anywhere in the world, particularly when it comes to black granite. Like mentioned before, let our prices and granite samples do the talking for us. Seek a quotation today.
Do you own a funeral home, a death-care service company or a monuments or memorials showroom? Are you trying to find a quality monuments and headstone manufacturer who can become your long-term suppliers?
This guide will educate you about how you can go about choosing a quality monument manufacturer.
How to Choose a Quality Monument/Headstone Manufacturer?
1. Must own a Monument Production Factory and Quarries
The first and foremost selection criteria when it comes to choosing a quality monument manufacturer is to ensure that they own both a monument factory and granite quarries. There are some monument manufacturers who do not own a production facility but will still try to take on orders by outsourcing such orders to actual manufacturers of monuments.
Kattima Granite owns a 35,000 Sq.Ft monument production facility in the port city of Chennai, India. The factory is equipped with state-of-the-art monument production facilities that include specialized fabrication and finishing machines and stations and equipment, EOT cranes, gantry cranes and dedicated packing and loading zones. The factory also employs hundreds of granite craftsmen, sculptors and artisans specialized in monument making.
Besides owning a monument production factory, Kattima Granite also owns several quarries across India. Quarry ownership ensures consistent and cost-competitive access to premium granite stone varieties used in monument production.
2. Must Have a Proven Track Record of Making Quality Monuments
Monuments are products that cater to a very sentimental audience. People spend a good deal of money on a monument that they believe will be a symbolic representation of a loved one that has passed on. Therefore, it is imperative that you work with a monument manufacturer who has perfected the art of monument making, preferably over several years.
Kattima Granite for example has been in the monument business for over 40 years. Over this period of time, the company has supplied tens of thousands of monuments that now embrace the legacy of thousands of lives once lived, across hundreds of cemeteries in USA, Canada, Japan and more.
2. Must make all types of monuments, including bespoke monuments
Monuments are a very personalized product. No two monument requests are the same. While most customers begin to design their monument with a template, the end-design they have in mind is almost always a unique product. Your monument manufacturer must therefore be able to cater to this requirement of making any monument that is requested.
Monuments comes in many shapes and sizes. You can learn more about the types of headstones.
When it comes to ordering bespoke monuments, you must make sure that your monument manufacturer has the ability to take a CAD drawing and convert it into a finished monument. At Kattima Granite, we routinely take orders where our customers send us PDFs and other buyer reference documents with drawings of monuments that they need, which we then convert into monuments.
At Kattima Granite, we also make Jewish monuments, Asian Monuments, All-Faith monuments and more.
3. Must offer a variety of granite stone and colors
A good monument manufacturer will offer a wide variety of stone choices for the monuments that they make. They must also be able to offer the same stone in several grades as well, to allow you to source monuments that cater to all budgets. Some of the most popular monument colors are India Black, Coral Blue, Paradiso, Tropical Green, Indian Mahogany, Sera Grey, Catseye Brown, India Pink, SADG, Bahama Blue, Blue Pearl and Emerald Pearl. Kattima Granite carries all of the above mentioned stones and many more.
4. Must offer competitive prices
As a retailer or funeral home owner, you probably want to do your best to be able to price your monuments affordably. However, it can be difficult to accomplish if the cost of acquiring your monuments is high to begin with. This is why it will be best if you work with a reputed monument manufacturer based out of India, one that is already serving several American customers. By ordering direct from manufacturers, you cut out several middle layers where the cost of monuments are marked up, both eroding your margins as well as driving the prices up for your end customers.
At Kattima Granite, we offer very competitive prices with absolutely no compromises on the quality of monuments we make. Please send us a quote request to find out for yourself.
5. Must Make Timely Deliveries
Most monuments are ordered several months in advance. But, it is very common for manufacturers to still delay orders, despite the long lead times. The last thing you want to do is to leave your customers frustrated with a delayed delivery, especially when they have gone to great lengths to plan a service to commemorate their loved one with the erection of a monument.
At Kattima Granite, we are very upfront about the delivery deadlines we can feasibly meet. Our production deadlines are usually between 30-60 days, after which the monuments are shipped to the USA or wherever in the world you order from. Shipping then takes an additional 40 to 60 days, meaning your lead times are essentially about 2 months to 3 months from the date of ordering. These timelines we offer are very expedited, especially when you consider the quality of monuments we produce and also factor in the savings on cost you can enjoy by ordering from us.
6. Must Offer dependable and customized packing options
Your monument manufacturer must use comprehensive packing practices to safely deliver your monuments. It would be a shame if your monuments break or are damaged during transit. At Kattima Granite, we offer several packing styles that have worked dependably for four decades. Our breakage rate is less than 0.5% and we readily replace items broken during shipping, in the rare instances that they happen.
Kattima Granite also offers customized packing options that cater to customers needs. For example, some of our customers request an individual crate for each of the monuments that they order. This then allows them to ship our package directly to the customer, without unpacking and repacking. We also use custom packing protocols as instructed by the client, if they have special instructions. We also work with our customer-configured container layout specifications.
7. Must offer risk-free payment terms
Beware of monument manufacturers who expect you to pay in full, upfront. While you must not pay for your monument order upfront, you also cannot expect the monument manufacturer to create your monuments without any payment. The payment risk therefore has to be balanced. At Kattima Granite, we require a 40% deposit on order confirmation. The rest is only due when the bill of lading is drawn and provided to you as shipping proof. This is an arrangement that has helped us harmoniously work with our customers for 40+ years.
Kattima Granite Monuments
Kattima Granite is a 40+ Year Old company that specializes in the manufacture of granite monuments and memorials. In 2022, we shipped out over 50,000 cubic feet of monuments to monument wholesalers and retailers across America and Canada. Please learn more about us at https://www.kattima.com/monuments/
Granite and Quartz have been part of a long running debate of which one is better than the other. Even though the answer is too obvious, it is imperative to support this answer with a thorough comparison of the properties of Granite and Quartz.
Granite is an igneous rock formed by quartz, feldspar & mica. It’s hard enough to resist abrasions and strong enough to bear significant weight. It can also resist weathering and can accept a brilliant polish. They are directly mined from the quarries and are cut into slabs of different measurements based on the requirements of customers.
Quartz is termed as an engineered stone or man-made stone. It falls under the category of natural stone, as it’s manufactured by mixing earthed natural quartz and polymer resins.
Now that we know the basic points that distinguish granite from quartz, let’s move on to the facts that prove granite is in every way a better option than quartz.
So, we have a question here! If you’re to build your dream home, what would you prefer for your kitchen top, benchtop, island counter and wall cladding, an artistic and durable stone or something that’s just ravishing in terms of looks? Undoubtedly, it’s going to be a durable stone. Granite, being a naturally formed material, has good properties and good rating on Mohs hardness index. The hardness of granite makes it easy to give a long-lasting glossy finish to its surface. Granite can withstand high temperatures and other adverse conditions. You’ll be surprised to know that quartz lacks these amazing properties to some extent. A hot pan can literally burn the surface of a quartz countertop. The reason behind the low heat resistance of quartz is epoxy resin, which is a bad conductor of heat. Granites are also widely used for invisible cooktops due to its high resistance to heat.
2. Ease of maintenance
While choosing a material for your residential or commercial project, it’s always important to consider the maintenance which will consume both your time and money. Porosity is considered as an important property of granites. Some granite materials need to be protected from stains that penetrate due to its porous nature. A good quality sealant can be used to avoid this stain penetration. If you think of it, you’ll understand that spending some time sealing the granite is much better than having a quartz countertop that easily melts upon exposure to high temperatures. You’ll also have to spend a fortune to fix the damaged area.
You can’t deny the fact that aesthetics is one among the many elements you want to see in your house or commercial buildings. A natural stone like granite can give an aesthetically pleasing look to your wall claddings and benchtops. Granite comes in a huge range of colours and patterns. In some countries like the USA, Canada, Australia, China and the Middle east, granite is considered as a symbol of social status. They use the stone in the interior and exterior decor of their residence. Granites come in different colour ranges like, blue granite, red granite, black granite, pink granite and grey granite. Talking about the sizes in which granites are available, the rough blocks directly mined from the quarry are cut into gang saw size or cutter size based on the customer’s preference. Granites are available in different surface finishes in the market like, honed finish, leather finish and polished finish. Quartz are cheaper stones and can’t be sculptured to the required model or shape and its surface can’t be polished to high gloss or any other texture as of granite. The range of colours in which quartz is available is very poor and it’s also not as aesthetically pleasing as granite.
At first, it’d appear as if quartz causes less environmental degradation. But when you actually think of the processes involved in the production of both the stones, you’ll realise that quartz is more dangerous to the environment than granite. As both the stones are natural stones, both of them are mined from quarries. But quartz poses the real threat as it undergoes additional processings to mix the polymer resin which is a chemically hazardous material to use on countertops.
5. Negligible fading issues
Direct exposure to sunlight can easily fade a quartz surface and can change the properties of the resin which tends to lose the artificial shine over a particular period. This is why granite is widely used in exterior works like landscaping, monuments, staircases, and wall cladding.
At Katti-ma, we offer a wide range of granites in different colours, and some of them are exclusively available at Katti-ma. We are proud owners and distributors of the exotic Costa Dakota, Cladon Blue, Steel Blue, Red Pearl, Elephant Grey granites. We also have – Indian black, Black Pearl, Hassan Green, River White, Black Fantasy, Viscont White, Black Galaxy, Sera Grey, Steel Grey, Bahama Blue, Indian Mahogany, Paradiso, Blue Pearl, Catseye Brown, Kovai Gold, South African Dark Grey, Regal Black, SG Black, Samantha Blue. The range is constantly expanding with the addition of more colours.