Germany and Italy, the traditional heavyweights in European furniture making, both achieved above-average growth in their wood furniture exports to countries outside the EU last year. German wood furniture exports were up 9% to €1.37 billion and Italian exports grew 5.5% to €2.93 billion.
According to the German furniture federation VDM, Germany’s total furniture exports exceeded €10 billion for the first time ever in 2015. This figure includes all exports of wood and non-wood furniture to both EU and non-EU countries.
VDM reports German furniture sales to markets outside of the Eurozone increased in particular. Exports to the US, for example, increased 25.6% in 2015. VDM believes that the weakness of the euro was one of the driving forces behind export growth, in addition to the reputation of the “Made in Germany” brand.
The Italian Center for Industrial Studies (Csil) also reports a positive recent trend for the Italian furniture industry in its World Furniture Magazine. Both Italy’s domestic furniture consumption and exports to European and nonEuropean countries increased last year.
For 2016, Csil reckons with further signs of growth in Italy. International demand is expected to remain strong but slow down slightly compared to 2015.
Growth in wood furniture exports from Poland, which is the third most important EU exporter and has seen large increases in most of the last seven years, slowed down to just +1.2% and a total of €791 million last year.
Other non-Eurozone EU countries experienced similar or even weaker trends: exports from Sweden, for example, fell by 5.3% to €492 million, those from Lithuania by 4.1% to €351 million and those from the UK by 1.5% to €200 million. On the other hand, Denmark’s wood furniture exports increased 8.8% to €504 million. And Portugal and Austria were unable to benefit from the weak euro, with a fall in wood furniture exports by 4.4% to €204 million and 5.9% to €241 million, respectively.
Among the remaining important wood furniture exporters in the Eurozone, France recorded growth by 14.4% to €394 million and Spain by 7.2% to €322 million.