U.S. exports of furniture rose for the 18th straight month through November on a year-over-year basis as demand from major markets continued and the U.S. dollar remained competitive. Exports advanced 8.1% year-over-year in November 2012 over November 2011 and totaled $879.6 million (deflated to January 2009 prices) in the month. Through November, exports were up by 12% and totaled $9.5 billion.
Canada is by far the largest market for U.S. furniture (H.S. code 94) exports, accounting for a 51.5% share in 2012 through November, up 0.3% from 2010. Exports to that market year-to-date were up 10 percent, a similar growth seen in 2011.Mexico is the second-largest market, accounting for a 51.5% share year-to-date, up notoriously by nearly 3 percentage points from 2010. Exports to that market were up 27% year-to-date, higher than the 20% growth seen in 2011. Other markets gaining share in the last three years were Germany, Australia and Venezuela.
The fifth-largest market, China, has seen its market share marginally decline in recent years as the economy decelerated but has maintained a double-digit growth demand for U.S. furniture. Wealthy Chinese believe in the quality and design of U.S.-made products, which explains why some U.S. furniture companies are strengthening business relationships in China. Ethan Allen’s CEO said in a recent WSJ interview that the company’s partner Markhor Furniture in China will increase the number of stores that carry Ethan Allen products to at least 100 within a year, up from 77. Demand from the United Kingdom has strengthened markedly in 2012 but not enough to gain market share.
PIERS is the only source for transaction-level U.S. export data. To learn more about PIERS export data, visit www.piers.com/USExports.