The Portuguese limestone blocks export market is well developed 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. This is specially the case for different variations of the Moleanos limestone and some of its main alternatives.
However we have been seeing a decrease 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.
Some of the limestones with most demand are the main types of Moleanos such as the Moleanos Classic, Moleanos Fine or Moleanos Blue. We also see a trend for Cabeca Veada and affordable alternatives to Moleanos that may show up in the market from smaller quarries.
In fact the Moleanos limestone and its main alternative dominate the block market, with a large market share and regular demand.
China has been for many years the main destination for blocks of Portuguese limestones, having a very large market share of Portuguese limestone blocks, including Moleanos.. 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.