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WhatWood Furniture European wood furniture production down 5% last year

European wood furniture production down 5% last year

18 October 2021 ` 19:24  

The latest Eurostat PRODCOM data reveals that the total value of wood furniture production in the EU27 declined 5% to €32.4 billion in 2020. This performance for the year is significantly better than initially anticipated at the start of the pandemic.

It is also an improvement on the 8% decline in total EU27 furniture production in 2020 implied by the Eurostat furniture production index published earlier this year.

Nevertheless, the decline was a major setback for a sector that has been sliding since 2018. Production value last year was the lowest since 2014 when the EU27 was just emerging from the depths of the Euro Debt Crisis in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 global financial crash.

The production downturn in 2020 was particularly dramatic for shop furniture which saw a decline of 13% to €2.8 billion. This was the result of widespread closure of retail outlets and increased reliance on online shopping as much of Europe went into lockdown early in the pandemic.

The decline was much less severe in other sectors including upholstered seating (-5% to €7.0 billion), office furniture (-1% to €4.0 billion), bedroom furniture (-3% to €2.8 billion), dining/living room (-4% to €6.3 billion), and “other wooden furniture” (-6% to €6 billion). Production value of non-upholstered seating was flat at €0.6 billion.

Wooden furniture production value in Italy, the largest producer in the EU27, increased last year, rising 4% to €8.0 billion and recovering ground lost in 2019.

Production was down in all other leading supply countries including Poland (-3% to €5.9 billion), Germany (-8% to €5.7 billion), Spain (-11% to €1.9 billion), France (-17% to €3.2 billion), Romania (-9% to €1.5 billion). Lithuania (-2% to €1.4 billion), Portugal (-7% to €1.0 billion), and Denmark (-5% to €0.8 billion).

The value EU27 wooden furniture consumption fell 4% to €28.3 billion in 2020. As for production, the consumption downturn was most pronounced for wooden shop furniture, down 10% at €2.4 billion. The total value of EU27 consumption of wooden office furniture increased in 2020, rising 1% to US$3.6 billion, probably a result of workers purchasing office equipment for their own homes during the lockdown.

Consumption of all other furniture types declined in 2020 including upholstered seating (-6% to €6.0 billion), other seating (-5% to €0.7 billion), bedroom furniture (-4% to €5.0 billion), dining/living room (-4% to €5.7 billion), and “other wooden furniture” (-4% to €5 billion).

Wooden furniture consumption in Germany, by far the largest single market in the EU27, was relatively stable in 2020, as it has been for the last 4 years, falling only 2% to €8.2 billion. Italy, again surprising given the severe effects of the pandemic in the country during the year, recorded an 8% increase in wood furniture consumption value in 2020, to €4.9 billion.

Gains in consumption were also recorded in Austria (+5% to €0.8 billion) and Sweden (+7% to €0.8 billion). Elsewhere there were large falls in consumption in France (-12% to €3.6 billion), Spain (-12% to €1.9 billion), the Netherlands (-11% to €1.3 billion), Romania (-7% to €1.0 billion), and Poland (-22% to €1.0 billion).

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