The Portuguese limestone blocks export market is quite developed in Portugal and it started to boom several years ago with the growing interest of the Chinese market for light beige colored limestones that are so abundant in Portugal. Chinese companies specialized on the import of blocks soon realized the potential of these limestones in Portugal and quickly controlled the blocks export market.
Today we see a decrease in Chinese demand for Portuguese limestone blocks, mostly due to newly found similar limestones in other Mediterranean countries (most notably Turkey). This decrease in demand from the Chinese market has led to an overall decrease of block price and larger availability for local Portuguese manufacturers.
The limestones with most demand for the blocks export market are with no discussion the Moca Creme Fine grain, Moleanos Fine grain, Rosal and Semi Rijo. These materials have considerable demand in block form mostly due to the demand from the Chinese market and its preference for this type and color of limestone.
In addition, there is a certain demand for blocks of grey limestones such as Azul Valverde, Azul Peniche and even Moleanos Azul.
China has been for many years the main destination for blocks of Portuguese limestones, having an overwhelming control over the blocks export market. Blocks are bought in larger quantities, leaving little room for other less representative markets to access a good selection of blocks.
Other markets for blocks are Italy, Spain and few other countries with little expression.