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'Noticeable losses in almost all important European sales markets'

German furniture exports fall by almost 9%

The export business of the German furniture industry declined in the first quarter of this year. According to the provisional foreign trade statistics of the Federal Statistical Office, furniture exports fell by almost 9 percent to around 2 billion euros. German furniture manufacturers generate around a third of their sales abroad.

Photo: Dreamstime

There were noticeable losses in almost all important European sales markets. In the main sales market of France, German manufacturers turned over around 11 percent less than in the same quarter of the previous year. Exports to Switzerland (minus 14 percent), Austria (minus 20 percent), the Netherlands (minus 11 percent), the United Kingdom (minus 3.5 percent) and Belgium (minus 13.5 percent) also fell significantly. Growth was recorded in furniture deliveries to Italy, which ranks seventh, with an increase of almost 9 percent.

A look at the two most important sales regions outside Europe reveals a mixed picture. While furniture exports to the United States fell by 4 percent, exports to China increased by around 8 percent.

There were declines in exports of living, dining and bedroom furniture (minus 19 percent), kitchen furniture (minus 16 percent), upholstered furniture (minus 10 percent) and office furniture (minus 3 percent), among other things.

Meanwhile, German furniture imports were almost 2 percent below the previous year's level at around 2.5 billion euros. With a share of 30 percent of total imports, Poland remains the most important furniture supplier country, even though imports fell by around 9 percent in the first quarter. China, on the other hand, was able to expand its position as the second-largest furniture supplier, also thanks to lower freight rates. The increase in furniture imports from Chinese production of around 20 percent in the first quarter is mainly due to the metal and seating furniture product groups.

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