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Importing Chinese Granite Monuments to the USA? Think Again!

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.

India’s Doppelganger Monument Granite Stones

Barre Grey Urban Grey
Dakota Mahogany Indian Mahogany
Elberton Grey / Light Grey Sera Grey
Morning Rose Mango Grey
Mystic Rose India Pink
Mocha Indian Mocha
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.