According to Chemical Watch, Denmark has notified the European Commission of changes to its legislation restricting the use and sale of new wood-based materials, including furniture, that emit formaldehyde – a suspected carcinogen.

The government's decree says wood-based materials that emit formaldehyde in a concentration above 0.124mg/m3 of air should not be used in the manufacture of furniture and related parts. For sales of fixed and movable objects, which also includes furniture and kitchen elements, the concentration limit is 0.134mg/m3 of air.

The restriction will not apply to existing furniture and parts that comply with current Danish standards, and those manufactured for export to non-EU countries. Construction products and furniture padding and upholstery are also excluded.

The Danish EPA may waive the limits "in special cases," according to the decree. It may also set conditions for permits.

The new limits will become effective six months after the decree's entry into force for wood-based materials, and one year after for fixed and movable furniture.

Following calls from some NGOs, the Commission has introduced tougher chemical limits on EU Ecolabelwood floorings. These include a restriction on the use of formaldehyde.

And in December, the US EPA set compliance deadlines for its final rule governing formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products.


Washington, US: According to Industry DIVE, the Carpenters Industrial Council and the U.S. Lumber Coalition has said that duties are required to offset the damage caused to U.S. lumber mills by Canadian softwood subsidies and dumping of that product in the U.S.

Imports of Canadian softwood lumber in the first eight months of last year were over 33percent higher than in the same period the prior year, according to a report in November.

The decision to call for the probe was sparked by a deadlock in negotiations between lumber leaders in the U.S. and Canada last summer, with the two sides unable to strike a new softwood lumber agreement following 100 days of negotiations. Discussions reached a stalemate over the U.S.'s aim to reduce Canada's market share to 22percent over a four-year period.


Homebuilders have faced higher lumber costs during softwood trade disputes between the U.S. and Canada in the past. In response, the National Association of Home Builders held talks with public and private interests in Chile last fall over the possibility of upping the country’s exports of softwood and other lumber products to the U.S. Chile currently represents about 1.22percent of the U.S. lumber market. The association has also said that it is seeking ways to increase the domestic harvesting of lumber.


Yokohama, Japan: According to ITTO, the latest trade data shows that the rising trend in the value of EU imports of tropical wood products that began in the second half of 2014 leveled off in 2016.

The stability in the euro value of tropical wood imports in the second half of 2016 may hide a slight fall in the volume of imports as European currencies weakened on foreign exchange markets during that period (which implies a rise in import prices).

The euro, trading at around US$1.15 in June 2016, had fallen to only US$1.05 by the end of the year. Even more pronounced is the fall in the British pound, which was trading at US$1.50 in June just before the country’s vote to leave the EU before declining to a 30-year low of US$1.29 in early July after the result and which now stands at just US$1.23.

Nevertheless, the dramatic slowdown in European tropical wood imports forecast for the second half of 2016 in response to currency movements and economic uncertainty in the UK following the Brexit vote failed to materialise. Prospects for the market in 2017 also look reasonably positive.

While the political situation in Europe is still uncertain, the economic recovery is gathering pace, helped by an improving global outlook, low interest rates, a significant fall in the level of unemployment, a weak euro and the end of austerity.


Yokohama, Japan: According to ITTO, analysts expect Malaysia to weather the anticipated tough times coming in 2017 underpinned by ongoing implementation of infrastructure projects, possible early elections, and pre-election spending. However the strengthening of the US dollar against most currencies and the ringgit is of concern.

According to RHB Research, the ringgit has weakened over 6% since the US election results were announced on November 8 and while there is an economic downside to this it does help exporters remain competitive.

Incentives for SMEs explained The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) recently held a workshop on ‘Cross-cutting Issues: Incentives for SMEs and Bumiputra SMEs in the Timber and Furniture Industry’.


This was part of the MTC’s efforts to assist the development of the Malaysian furniture sector. MTC writes “The recently announced 2017 Budget will play an important role in charting business direction for both SMEs and Bumiputra SMEs in Malaysia and the workshop was aimed at enterprise accountant and finance staff as well as company executives and business owners.”


In recent years, with the rapid development of economy and the rise of the real estate industry, customers have put forward a lot of personalized requirements on the housing decoration style, rather than being satisfied with the previous popular design. Thus, this trend has created a huge market space for the development of custom furniture.


Currently, custom furniture plays an important role in modern home decoration. The furniture can be made according to every consumer's need, which combined with the features of environmental protection, fashion, delicate and so on. In the next few years it must be consumption hot spots on furniture market, preferred by post 80's and 90's-the mainstream consumer groups.


In addition, many consumers tend to show their personal charm and value through custom furniture, reflecting their unique taste of life and pursuit. Therefore, enterprises need to use advanced technology to create the furniture products with good performance, rich connotation and excellent quality, so as to bring the comfortable living environment to the consumers. 


However, the price of custom furniture is usually expensive, thus only a part of the high-end consumers will choose this kind of furniture, which result in the limitations of the custom furniture market. First of all, the material used to custom furniture is mainly the solid wood, and the board itself is zero formaldehyde release, which is very environmentally friendly. Compared with ordinary furniture, custom furniture's style is more diverse, and each part of the furniture components need to be designed in detail. At the same time, due to the high quality of the furniture itself, the enterprises usually adopt advanced equipment and manufacturing processes with high technology, using CNC machine tool for parametric customization, so the cost of investment on custom furniture is higher. 


Secondly, part of enterprises' production mode, management system and design concept haven't fully kept up with the trend of the times, and still remain at the level of the mass customization and mass production, which lacks of personalization and differentiation. With the change of consumer groups and consumption concept, people will improve their requirement on the table/desk and chair, wardrobe, cabinets, sofa, sanitary appliance and office furniture. Besides, more comfortable and humanized furniture can eliminate fatigue for the users, which is more favored by consumers. Therefore, the enterprise should turn to the development of custom furniture so that they can increase their market competitiveness.


Not only well-known enterprises but also small and medium enterprises should enhance their technical level, improve the designers' working ability and change the traditional design concept, making professional custom furniture for other ordinary customers so that non high-end consumers can also have enjoy the custom furniture they want. Meanwhile, competitiveness of enterprises can be improved, and the market of custom furniture can also be expanded. In the course of time, with the popularity of custom furniture in the market, it will be able to avoid malignant competition between large custom furniture enterprises, such as disunity of price or custom standards, which can create more benign market environment for more consumers.


Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, is set to feature a greater variety of new and innovative products from a wide range of suppliers and four country halls at its 23rd annual edition coming March.

Organised by UBM Malaysia, MIFF 2017 is again fully-booked and pre-registered visitor numbers are running strong for the four-day event taking place at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) and MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre (MECC) from March 8 to 11.

The trade show which posted record US$908 million sales in 2016 will feature 500 companies and attract an estimated 20,000 buyers from 140 countries and regions.

MIFF 2017 continues to benefit from the cross-promotion of the trade show across UBM and platforms as a result of a strategic “online and offline” collaboration to create the next generation of B2B trade sourcing experiences.

Around 70 per cent of exhibitors are Malaysian companies while the rest are from overseas including from China, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam. “There will be a lot of new products releases during MIFF 2017 based on the product range indicated by exhibitors. The new products and design are very refreshing, this is great for buyers. Many companies are seeing this as an opportunity to boost their visibility and increase business leads because they want a bigger footprint in 2018 when MIFF expands to 100,000 sqm at the new Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) and PWTC. We are also seeing very good numbers from pre-registration from over 100 countries so far,” said MIFF General Manager Ms Karen Goi. MIFF 2017 will feature a dedicated segment -- MIFF OFFICE -- to showroom the biggest range of office solutions with 130 companies at PWTC. Malaysian companies which would be participating in MIFF 2017 include well-known exporters such as Merryfair Chair System, Euro Chair, Poh Huat, Soon Her Sing Industries, Oasis Furniture and Safari Office System.

The China Hall will be larger with over 150 companies as more furnishing exhibitors are coming from southern Guangdong province led by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Guangzhou Council (CCPIT Guangzhou). Other attractions are Taiwan Hall with 30 companies and Muar Hall, organised by Muar Furniture Association and a strategic partner of MIFF, will feature over 80 member companies.

Buyer registration and a preview of products from exhibitors are available at

Overseas visitors are eligible to attend Buyers Night gala, access to International Buyers Lounge and discounts on hotel rates and airport transfers.

Updates on MIFF 2017 and free subscription to the MIFF e-newsletter are also available on

MIFF 2017 CONFIRMED EXHIBITORS’ COMMENTS: MS LYNN LIAO, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF CHINA COUNCIL FOR THE PROMOTION OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE (CCPIT) “We are bringing more exhibitors to MIFF 2017 because it is a proven platform for our companies to showcase their products to global buyers. The trade show plays a vital role for our companies to reach out to more markets, understand global trends and the advantages of other exhibitors. The valuable experience has helped our companies to better develop their business, how to get new customers and open up more markets. MIFF is strongly supported by CCPIT and it has a 70% rebooking rate from Chinese exhibitors, that’s the highest in any international trade show participated by Chinese companies.” MR CHRIS CHEN, GENERAL MANAGER, WINNER TEAM, TAIWAN

“Our company was established in 2001 and we took part in our first international exhibition in MIFF in 2002. It was a great debut and we’ve been back ever since. The huge difference between MIFF and other exhibitions is that it has a diversity of buyers coming from different regions of the world and groups of core buyers seeking a particular category of product like wood furniture. This helps us to target the markets and facilitate the delivery of orders. We have now extended our customer network beyond Europe to other countries from the business we get in MIFF.”


“We are very excited at the coming show because our exhibitors had achieved very good sales in 2016. MIFF has given a big opportunity for local manufacturers to discover new business and develop international networks because of its global standing. This is very important for manufacturers like us because Malaysia’s furniture industry is an export sector and Muar is the biggest production hub in Malaysia. We expect to have a busy time again.”


About MIFF (

Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) is an export-oriented furniture trade show held annually in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is also a global leading trade show approved by UFI, The Global Association for Exhibition Industry. Since 1995, MIFF has nurtured invaluable partnerships between thousands of buyers and furniture makers across the globe.


Ms Kelie Lim

Tel: +603-2176 8788

Fax: +603-2164 8786 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The German furniture industry increased its turnover by 2.5 percent in September 2016 vis à vis the comparative month of the preceding year to €1.702bn according to EUWID.

As in the preceding month, domestic as well as export business contributed to this increase. 

According to figures compiled each month by the German Furniture Industry Association (VDM) on the basis of statistics of the Federal Statistical Office, at €539.6m export turnover was 3.6 percent above the preceding year’s level in September. 

The domestic turnover increased by 2.0 percent to €1.162bn. In August, at +10 percent in total (+8.4 percent domestic and +14.6 percent export), significantly higher rates of increase were recorded in each case. All subdivisions of the furniture industry contributed to this increase.


Vietnam will be assisted with carrying out legal and responsible timber trade by the "Responsible Asia Forestry & Trade Partnership" programme with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), TRAFFIC and RECOFTC reported by "Vietnam News".

The project, which will help achieve sustainable afforestation and forest management and improve officials’ capacity and is funded by the Australian Government through The Nature Conservancy organisation (TNC), will run through March next year.

It is divided into two main components focused on promoting sustainable plantation management based on international standards and strengthening implementation of responsible and legal timber trade.

With most people thought to be unaware of the definition of sustainable and responsible timber products, the project will seek to create basic awareness among the public, manufacturers and businesses to create a market for responsible timber products in Vietnam.

This approach will not only bring permanent benefits to the environment and society, but also help combat illegal trade in timber, boost investment in environmental protection and generally enhance the reputation of the Vietnamese market.


The country's forestry sector can expect to see the current strong market continuing long term, fuelled by the ongoing demand from Asia according to "the country".

New Zealand export log prices rose for a third straight month in November, pushed along by low shipping rates and demand from China, the country's largest export market.

An AgriHQ survey of exporters, forest owners and sawmillers said the forestry industry was continuing to enjoy a spell which has regularly been described as the strongest in at least 20 years.

And the data has been backed up by Marcus Musson, a director of Forest Owners Marketing Service Ltd (FOMS) and he said the returns for owners had been the most stable the market had seen since 2013.

He said historically there was a sharp price correction following Chinese New Year celebrations in February when log inventory levels in China reached levels exceeding 4 million cubic metres.

Usually there was something like 50,000 cubic metres of logs and lumber landing in China each day during the holiday period, but this year there were fewer logs and less lumber entering Chinese ports during the holiday period and, as a result, there wasn't the usual over-supply.

Prices had also been bolstered by continued low shipping rates over the past 12 months and a foreign exchange rate that favoured New Zealand.

Mr Musson expected the forest sector to continue to provide forest owners with healthy returns. He said it was a view supported by the number of Chinese buyers looking for forest investments here.


Asia’s largest and most comprehensive woodworking machinery, furniture production and interior decoration trade fair is slated to return again on March 28 at the China Import and Export Fair (Pazhou) Complex located in the country’s southern manufacturing hub of Guangzhou in Guangdong province. Expect another inspiring CIFM / interzum guangzhou this year as the trade fair will team up once again with the famed China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) for the 14th consecutive year to present what’s trending in the industry.

As the only satellite event of the world's most prestigious furniture production trade fair, interzum, interzum guangzhou in China is known for its professionalism and internationalization. interzum guangzhou has been committed to importing highly praised activities from its parent event in Germany to Guangzhou for domestic visitors to enjoy the same experience.


Machinery Hall gets new buzz 

First introduced to interzum guangzhou in 2012 at Hall 14.1, the concept of the PIAZZA lounge at interzum guangzhou is identical to that of the piazza in Italian terms as a public square, surrounded by business activities. It gradually evolved into a marketplace for trade, information and meetings.

The PIAZZA is the epicenter of activities as a venue for a series of seminars and product presentations. Besides being a gathering place for the exchange of ideas, the lounge also serves up a selection of complimentary refreshments, where exhibitors and visitors alike can enjoy comfortable business meetings in a relaxing atmosphere. 

An extension of the PIAZZA, PIAZZA mini, will be introduced to the Machinery Hall 12.1, providing another venue for participants to come together.


Special feature display

A special display entitled "Unveiling – The Mysteries of Furniture Production " will be located between halls 14.1 and 15.1 showcasing innovative products and technologies of furniture accessories, hardware and raw materials, and at the same time presenting the story behind the products. Visitors can experience the products at the interactive area and gain a deeper understanding of the charm of the furniture industry. 


More opportunities to seal the deal

To establish a more effective platform for exchange, interzum guangzhou will hold its first on-site business match-making program. Divided into two categories – “Brand Furniture” and “Premium Custom Furniture” – manufacturers and invited buyers can expect to meet face-to-face and gain in-depth understanding of each other’s offerings and requirements respectively.


Work & play

A two-hour interzum guangzhou Networking Happy Hour on the third day of the exhibition (March 30) will also take place. Industry leaders, VIP buyer delegations and representatives of the various national pavilions will be invited to share experience and explore the development of the furniture industry.


To pre-register as a visitor or learn more about CIFM / interzum guangzhou 2017, visit


About the Organizers


As a world-renowned trade fair organizer, Koelnmesse has an excellent track record for organizing some of the world’s most successful trade events, such as the accomplished interzum and imm in Cologne, Germany. With over 90 years’ experience in organizing large-scale commercial events connecting buyers and sellers, Koelnmesse brings forth an unrivaled skill-set and expertise needed to develop CIFM / interzum guangzhou into the premier international furniture production trade show in Asia.


China Foreign Trade Centre (Group)

The China Foreign Trade Centre (Group) is a highly qualified and experienced exhibition company. For more than 50 years, it has been organizing the China Import and Export Fair (also known as the Canton Fair), the largest trade fair in China. It is also the organizer of CIFF (China International Furniture Fair (Guangzhou), Asia’s biggest furniture trade fair.

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