More exhibitors at Stoneexpo in Moscow

At the entrance to Expostone 2010 exhibition held in the Russian capital from 22 - 25 June, visitors came across the sombre sight of a selection of Chinese tombstones, as it were symbolizing the severe economic problems being faced by the stone sector. However, within the exhibition pavillion there were practically no signs of any crisis: here over an area of around 10.000 m² business discussions prevailed, information was being exchanged, professional meetings were being held involving large companies from Russia, Italy, Turkey, India and China.

At this edition of Expostone there were exhibitors from 20 countries wth a total of 307 stands - 4 % more than in 2009. As in previous years, most exhibitors came from Russia (99), China (80), Italy (47), Turkey (19) or India (16). Participating for the first time were companies from Greece, Estonia, and the United Arab Emirates. There was a considerable increase in exhibitors from Turkey, Ukraine and India. Compared wth last year, the number of Russian exhibitors increased by 5%.

Product categories
At this year´s show, 79% of exhibitors showed natural stone ( blocks, slabs, tiles, architectural components, tombstones or memorials, etc ) while around 10% showed machines for extraction and processing, with a similar percentage exhibiting diamond and/or abrasive tools.

Internationally renowned firms participating included Breton, Dazzini, Donatoni, Pedrini, Pellegrini and Fracarolli & Balzan ( equipment ), Dellas, SuperSelva and Tyrolit Vincent ( tools ) from Italy ; Burckhardt, Loffler, Hummel ( equipment ), Diabu ( tools ) from Germany ; Thibaut from France. Major Russian stone companies exhibiting included Vozrozhdenie ( St Petersburg ) and MKK Holding ( Moscow ).
Quarrying and processing equipment made in Russia was exhibited by Mekhanichrskii Zavod ( formerly Experimentalnii Zavod ) from Rezh, Sverdlovsk Region.

Current situation
Naturally, the economic crisis affecting most parts of the world to a greater or lesser degree has affected the positions of most exhibitors at Expostone 2010 in Moscow. In Russia, where construction activity has declined by around 20%, the dimension stone sector has suffered considerable losses. How good it was then to hear optimistic forecasts on some stands : many exhibitors felt that the world economy would soon pick up, thus providing a stimulus for further development of the dimension etone sector.

"Do we really need an exhibition like this one in Moscow right now?" asked a representative of the famous Italian specialist company Antolini Luigi whose stand was positioned in the centre of the exhibition pavillion. " Yes of course ", I replied " Our Expostone has become even more important in a time of crisis. For some time now our Moscow exhibition has acquired such a status that participation is a matter of prestige. If a well-known company fails to appear at even one important stone show these days, suspicions are voiced about a bankroptcy".

Yury Sychov, translation by Paul Daniel