Major Furniture Imports by Material Type In Selected Years : 2002 to 2017
In 2017, imports of household furniture rose 10.7 percent compared to only 3.8 percent growth in retail sales. The Great Recession, 2007 to 2009, brought with it a major collapse in international trade – deeply affecting both imports and exports of household furniture. In recent years, growing wages, higher employment, a boost in consumer confidence and a healthy housing market have propelled import growth. Meanwhile, exports have struggled to maintain the initial post-recession climb. This is the fourth in a series of five factoids detailing U.S. imports and exports from 2002 to 2017.
Wood Household Furniture
Wood household furniture imports totaled $11.8 billion in 2017 and are up 9 percent over the previous year. At a 38 percent share of wood furniture imports in 2017, China still owns the wood category at $4.5 billion, but has lost significant share to Vietnam. Vietnam has grown from less than 1 percent of wood furniture imports to over 25 percent from 2002 to 2017. Canada, once a major player in wood furniture, has fallen to only 6.7 percent of the total. Malaysia and Indonesia continue their steady wood niches but control less than 6 percent of wood imports each.
Upholstered Household Furniture
Unlike the wood category, China has very little competition in upholstered goods in the international marketplace. Although not producing as high a market share, Vietnam has also made great strides in upholstery – growing from $7 million in 2002 to $700 million in 2017 and having a one year increase of 51.2 percent from 2016 to 2017. Once a major player, Italy was the leading exporter of upholstery to the U.S. until 2003 when China surpassed them. Once importing 28 percent of upholstered furniture, now the U.S. imports only 3 percent from Italy.
Metal Household Furniture
Even more so than upholstery, China dominates the market in imported metal household furniture with 75 percent market share. China increased from $1.7 billion in 2002 to $5.6 billion in 2017 – a jump of 225 percent in 15 years. While imports from Canada have grown since the bottom of the recession in 2009, it continues to lose market share to China. Imports from both Mexico and Taiwan have decreased since 2015, but Vietnam has maintained an annual average increase of 38 percent.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade