The global trade of furniture is concentrated in selected countries. Four of the largest markets for furniture are USA, Germany, France and Italy – all with a domestic market of over $10 billion. The United States is the world’s largest furniture market, where the opening to imports in the last few years has been impressive. There exists huge potential for future growth in trade of furniture as new markets continue to open such as China, India and Russia, which have the capacity to reach up to US $ 10 billion.
Global Trends of Furniture Industry
Total world exports of wooden furniture have increased by 17.2% from 1995-1999. The value of exports in absolute terms increased from US $ 15.7 billion to US $ 18.5 billion. The export market is growing at an annual average rate of 4%.
Major exporters of wooden furniture include Italy, with 15.3% share of total exports in 1999 and Germany, with 10% share of the total exports in 1999. Others include Denmark with 7% and Canada with 9% share. Although Italy still is the export market leader but the exports have dropped over the last five years. Emerging players in wooden furniture that have shown impressive growth during 1995-99 include China and Canada as their exports increased at an annual average rate of 23%. The export growth of wooden furniture from Malaysia has also increased at a decent rate of 12% per year.
Wooden furniture has several categories, which include Office furniture, Kitchen furniture and bedroom furniture. Bedroom furniture is the largest product segment as far as the exports of furniture are concerned. It accounts for 19% of total exports of furniture. The kitchen furniture category comes next with a 14% share in total exports, followed by the office furniture category having a share of 11%. The growth in value of exports of kitchen and office furniture appears to be much higher than the bedroom furniture category.
Wood Furniture Industry of Pakistan
Pakistan’s exports of wooden furniture comprise mostly of kitchen furniture. In 2000-01 approximately 14% of total exports of furniture were accounted for by kitchen furniture. Office furniture was second, with a meager share of 0.55%. The difference between the export shares indicates the importance of kitchen furniture as compared to the rest of the categories for Pakistan, although the export market of bedroom furniture is much larger than any other category but the export growth in the kitchen furniture segment is almost 6% per year.