The EU ceramics industry is a world leader in producing value added, uniquely designed, high quality ceramic products manufactured by flexible and innovative companies, the majority of which are SMEs. The ceramics industry represents an annual production value of around €30 billion, accounting for approximately 25% of the global production, and over 200,000 direct jobs throughout the EU.
The major producing countries in the EU are Italy, Germany, Spain, France, the UK, Portugal and Austria. Production is also strong in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary, all of which have growing and dynamic ceramic sectors that traditionally export to other EU countries.
The EU ceramics industry is export-oriented with 30% of its production sold outside the EU market. It is competitive, both domestically and internationally. However, in the last decade the market situation has changed considerably with the rise of low-cost products from new competitors in emerging and developing countries while persisting trade barriers continue to prevent access to important new markets.
The European ceramics industry is one of Europe's oldest industries and is an integral part of a dynamic and innovative European economy. It covers a wide range of sectors from time-tested materials to high-tech products.