Posts Tagged ‘furniture’

U.S. Containerized Imports of Furniture Up in 2Q

September 11, 2013

U.S. containerized imports of furniture continued to grow in the second quarter of 2013, with volume up 1% year-over-year to 561,689 20-foot-equivalent units. This increase, the seventh consecutive quarterly year-over-year rise, was at a slower rate compared to the past four quarters, but despite this, import volume reached its highest level since the second quarter of 2007.

PIERS- Furniture Imports Q22013

Second quarter 2013 containerized furniture imports jumped 5.7% from the first quarter. Mainland China, not including Hong Kong, held 71.7% of the U.S. furniture import market in the second quarter of 2013. Other top countries of origin for U.S. furniture imports in the second quarter were Vietnam, with a 9.4 % share; Malaysia, 3.2%; and Indonesia, 2.9%. Furniture imports from Indonesia in the second quarter jumped 19 % in volume year-over-year.

Italy remained the sixth-largest supplier of U.S. furniture imports in the second quarter, with containerized volume up 10 % year-over-year.

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JOC Insights by Mario Moreno: Furniture Exports Expand

March 26, 2013

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.

U.S. Furniture Exports 2010-2012

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.

More of Moreno’s trade and economic analysis can be obtained by subscribing to JOC Insights or by following him on Twitter @MarioMoreno_JoC.

PIERS is the only source for transaction-level U.S. export data. To learn more about PIERS export data, visit

PIERS Offers Exclusive Research Into China’s Impact on the Manufacturing Exports of Other Developing Nations – Available for Free Download

March 12, 2013

PIERS, the Standard in Trade Intelligence, is pleased to offer a one of a kind report available for FREE download. The report examines China’s waning strength in labor-intensive exports like furniture, apparel and footwear, and its impact on other developing countries.

Understand how rising wages and labor shortages are prompting factory owners in China to relocate facilities inland or in many cases flee to other developing countries where wages are lower or competitive, and supply of unskilled and semi-skilled workers is abundant. To isolate developing countries most exposed to this trend, this report identifies  13 countries for which manufacturing represents more than 15% of their GDP and wages are lower than in China or globally competitive.

China’s Impact on the Manufacturing Exports of Other Developing Nations

The results suggest that China’s waning strength in labor-intensive exports is benefiting some developing economies more than others, while a few appear to not be benefiting at all. Countries examined in this report include: Vietnam, Mexico, India, Thailand, Brazil, Honduras, El Salvador, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Poland, Philippines and Cambodia.

Key findings include:

  • Favorable trade conditions and geographic proximity with Central American countries have led to growth rates of U.S. apparel imports that significantly outpaced that of China, in part because shortened transit time is particularly important to shippers of apparel.
  • Lower wages and favorable exchange rates in recent years have given Vietnam an advantage over China in the footwear and apparel sector, leading to an increase in market share of U.S. imports in both of these sectors.
  • While Poland represents a relatively small share of the global furniture market, significant currency depreciation  against the U.S. dollar has resulted in a compound annual growth rate of U.S. furniture imports of 19.6% from 2001 through 2011.

Get a better understanding of how these trends effect the global supply chain and download your FREE report today!

JOC Insights by Mario Moreno: Furniture Imports Expand

February 5, 2013

U.S. imports of furniture jumped 13.4% Y-o-Y in October 2012, marking its 16th straight monthly advance and totaling $3.8 billion in constant dollars. Through October, imports were up by 12.2%, in line with a rebounding housing market.

China is by far the largest source of U.S. furniture (HS code 94) imports, accounting for a 51.5% share in 2011 according to ITC estimates. A great number of U.S. furniture makers had to shut down operations over the years as they saw production and jobs being transferred to China to take advantage of lower wages and costs. In fact, back in October 2003, a concerted coalition of furniture makers and unions petitioned the International Trade Commission for money repairs, arguing China was dumping furniture into the U.S. market (Drayse, 2008). A duty on Chinese furniture was later imposed; however, furniture shipments from China to the U.S. continued rising.


This outsourcing trend bolstered China’s share of U.S. furniture imports significantly from 29.3 % in 2001 to 52.8 % in 2010. Nevertheless, China’s share declined in 2011 and in 2012 year to date according to U.S. International Trade Commission figures, while the share of Mexico and Vietnam rose in those same years. Mexico’s share of U.S. furniture imports increased from 14.9% in 2010 to 15.8% in 2011 to 17.6% in 2012 through October.

In 2012, through October, imports from China in constant dollars were up by 9.8 %, but imports from Mexico, Vietnam and India were up by double-digit growth rates. In terms of volume I see a similar pattern, with containerized shipments from China nearly flat this year while shipments from Vietnam and India were up by double-digit growth rates.

More of Moreno’s trade and economic analysis can be by subscribing to JOC Insights or by following him on Twitter @MarioMoreno_JoC.

For FREE, instant access to details on U.S. import shipments, register online for PIERS TI Basic.

U.S. Container Imports Up 3.2% in June

July 31, 2012

As predicted by PIERS/JOC Economist Mario Moreno, U.S. container imports rose 3.2% in June; led by steady growth in furniture and auto parts, which contributed to an overall increase of 2.4% through the first half of 2012, according to data from PIERS.

This is in line with Moreno’s forecast of 4.1% full-year growth. Total U.S. imports in Q2, up 2.9%, and imports from Asia, up 2.7%, exceeded forecasts by 0.4% and 2.4% respectively. “Growth was modest at best,” Moreno said. “Trade with China was helped by declining import prices as the Renminbi began to lose value against the dollar. The outlook for containerized trade in the second half of the year continues to show downside risks as unemployment is stuck at +8%, and fiscal woes in Europe could escalate even more.”

Furniture continued to lead import volumes, up 7% in Q2, despite flat home sales year to date, Moreno noted. He cautioned that this momentum will not last if hiring remains stalled. However, manufacturers increased auto production, driving auto parts imports up 19%.

On the downside, demand for imported footwear continued the downtrend due to rising import prices and poor demand outlook. Footwear imports declined 18%.

More of Moreno’s trade and economic analysis can be found in his blog or by following him on Twitter @MarioMoreno_JoC.

Want to learn more about the details behind these container imports? PIERS solutions provide the support needed to accurately track vital trade intelligence around the world. Contact us today to have a PIERS solutions expert show you more.

Will U.S. Import Increase This Fall

July 24, 2012

Imports normally build each year during the summer and fall months as retailers bring back-to-school merchandise and then holiday goods into the country. Technically, there has not been a traditional “Peak Season” for a few years due to the ongoing economic challenges that continue to occur. From significantly lower inventory levels, as mentioned in our blog last, relatively low retail sales growth, fluctuating fuel prices and high unemployment rates – things are light compared to the Peak Season build-up in previous seasons.

U.S. containerized imports gained 2.9% in the second quarter, led by year-over-year increases in furniture, auto parts, bananas and electronics, PIERS data show. The first half of the year, U.S. containerized imports were up 2.4%, with increases of 3.2% in June. Journal of Commerce and PIERS Economist, Mario O. Moreno, said imports from China were aided by declining prices as the Renminbi’s value decreased against the dollar. Overall increases in the second half of the year will be held down by continuing high U.S. unemployment and the European economic crisis; he forecasts a full-year increase of 4.1%.

As these events unfold, freight volumes and activity remain in a holding pattern with flat or low growth throughout the majority of domestic and global freight transportation modes. For JOC subscribers, the graphic above provides valuable insights into trends in the transportation sector for all modes of transportation.

More of Moreno’s trade and economic analysis can be found in his blog or by following him on Twitter @MarioMoreno_JoC.

For FREE, instant access to details on U.S. import shipments, register online for PIERS TI Basic.

U.S. Containerized Imports Grow 5% in November

January 10, 2012

U.S. containerized import volume rose 5% Y-o-Y in November, a sharp turnaround in the slumping market that was pushed by strong gains in shipments tied to the recovering housing industry, reported Mario O. Moreno, economist for PIERS/The Journal of Commerce.

Increases in home sales have buoyed the housing market, leading to a 7% November growth in shipments of furniture, a top import commodity.

“A healthy housing market is key to the revival of U.S. containerized imports growth as many of the goods consumers purchase to furnish a home are imported,” Moreno said. He pointed to additional expansion in November in cooking and heat appliances, lamps and parts, and kitchenware. Growth in these other commodities contributed to the increase in imports from China—up 4.1% Y-o-Y, the country’s first rise in eight months. Demand for local lumber was a key factor in a surprising November increase of 515% in imports from Canada.

“The question is, are we seeing a self-sustained recovery in home sales?” Moreno said. “This will depend very much on how many jobs the economy can generate every month… Over the last 12 months through November, the economy generated an average of 132,000 jobs per month (NSA). We are not there yet, but getting closer.”

On a month-to-month basis, overall imports edged up 0.3% in November, and YTD, imports were up 3%.

A full analysis of these findings is available online at, or for a more a granular look at U.S. waterborne shipments including company names, commodity, carrier, country of origin/destination and more, visit

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