Italian furniture sales and production fell in the first half of the year!


    According to data recently released by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat), the furniture industry's turnover slumped by 14.9 per cent in the first half of 2023 compared with the same period in 2022, while production fell by 13.9 per cent; the furniture industry's turnover decreased by 0.1 per cent, while production fell by 5.4 per cent.

    The industry association noted that it is clear that the contraction in wood processing production has been accompanied by a fall in demand from the furniture industry. Rising raw material and energy costs over the past two years have led to a significant increase in industry turnover, so the current decline in turnover is partly due to a fall in costs and product prices.

    "The sharp decline in wood products turnover could be partly due to a return to lower raw material and energy costs in 2022. The figures for furniture production, on the other hand, are another matter, showing above all a slowdown in demand for our products and in exports, even in overseas markets." Claudio Feltrin, president of FederlegnoArredo, the Italian Federation of Wood and Furniture Industries, explained.

    Feltrin said that weak demand for furniture will also affect the wood industry in turn, with orders and production in the wood products sector starting to decrease once the backlog of orders for 2022 is completed, and that higher than normal production in 2022 will show a decrease compared to the execution of this year.

    The Federation's Research Centre conducted a sample survey of the sector, which showed that the overall turnover of the Italian wood products supply chain contracted by 5.9% in the first half of 2023, with the Italian market slipping by 6.8% and exports decreasing by 4.5%, both of which are on a negative trend.

    The most significant impact on the supply chain as a whole was in the wood building materials sector, where turnover contracted by 12.6% in the first half of the year, with sales on the local market down by 14% and exports down by 8.3%. Growth and decline were very different by segment: sales of panels contracted sharply, while sales of products such as roofing and timber building frames grew.

    Accounting for 62 per cent of the total turnover of the supply chain in the furniture industry in the first six months of 2023 and the same period in 22 years, sales were basically the same, down 1.1 per cent, the main reason for the decrease is by more than half of the total turnover of the export business fell by 3.3 per cent, the Italian domestic market sales increased by 1.3 per cent.

    The industry association said that the current situation in the furniture industry is constantly changing and the outlook is difficult to predict. However, according to the agency's survey, for the whole of 2023, the Italian wood products supply chain turnover will see a negative growth of 3.3 per cent, with exports slipping by 2.6 per cent and sales in the local market decreasing by 3.8 per cent.

    For wood furniture, sales in the local market are expected to grow by 1.3 per cent, with exports slipping by 0.7 per cent, and full-year revenue slightly positive, edging up by 0.2 per cent. The wood building materials industry, on the other hand, is expected to see its annual turnover decline by 8.5 per cent, with sales in the local market decreasing by 8.6 per cent and exports by 8.3 per cent.

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