Wooden furniture imports grow in the US, despite March declines

ITTO's Tropical Timber Market Report
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US imports of wooden furniture fell below $1 billion for the first time in the last 12 months. March imports were worth $813.9 billion, down 21% from the previous month. Year-to-date imports are still 6% higher than in 2012.

China’s furniture shipments to the US fell to $316.6 million (+8% year-to-date). Imports from Vietnam declined to $121.0 million in March (+11% year-to-date).

US imports of wooden furniture*, 000’s US$

January February March %Change
Total imports 1,132,386 1,029,312 813,896 -21%
of which        
China 571,266 528,629 316,606 -40%
Vietnam 190,063 160,843 121,048 -25%
Canada 80,648 81,395 90,999 12%
Malaysia 57,988 49,849 47,227 -5%
Mexico 38,272 39,255 4,352 -89%
Indonesia 4,902 46,583 49,870 7%

*includes HS: 940161, 940169, 940330, 940340, 940350 and 940360. Excluding furniture parts.

Many US SMEs exit kitchen and bathroom cabinet manufacturing sector

Sales of cabinets for kitchens and bathrooms were severely affected by the economic recession in the US. The low demand from new construction and remodeling of existing homes continues to have an effect on the industry today.

In the last five years industry concentration has increased because many smaller companies had to close their business, according to a recently released report by IBISWorld (Cabinet and Vanity Manufacturing in the US).

However, the majority of US cabinet manufacturers remain small companies. The four largest US manufacturers account for less than 25% of sales.

Cabinet sales started to recover in 2011. Freedonia predicts cabinet demand to grow by an average 8.2% per year to $15.3 billion in 2016 (Cabinets: US Industry Study with Forecasts for 2016 & 2021).

New housing is expected to be the strongest driver of demand, but the renovation of kitchens and bathrooms remains an important market.

The trend to larger kitchens and larger cabinets will support demand, according to Freedonia. The bathroom cabinet market is forecast to grow 6.5% per year to reach US$1.8 billion in 2016. More homes have multiple bathrooms, which has a positive effect on cabinet sales.

Cabinet demand in non-residential applications is expected to grow 6.5% per year to $2.8 billion in 2016. Growth in the construction of offices, retail stores and hotels will support demand for cabinets.

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