A report of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VAF) showed that Vietnam exported $7.3 billion worth of timber, non-timber forestry and wooden furniture products in 2016, according to Vietnamnet.

This included $5.12 billion worth of wooden furniture exports, an increase of 7.1 percent compared with the year before.

This was the first time that export turnover witnessed the one-digit growth rate. 

However, the achievement was still encouraging in the context of the decrease in Europe’s imports and China’s lower woodchip consumption (just equal to 61 percent of 2015).

According to the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCMC deputy chair Huynh Van Hanh, Vietnam’s export markets may expand this year thanks to free trade agreements and higher demand from the US and Japan.

The US is an important market for Vietnam as it is both an input material supplier and consumer. Vietnam exports $2 billion worth of wooden products to the US each year. 

Exports to the US have been increasing steadily after the Vietnam-US Trade Agreement took effect under which the tariffs have been cut sharply from 50 percent to very low rates, and to zero percent on some products. 

Meanwhile, Chinese wooden exports to the US are undergoing an anti-dumping investigation. As a result, Chinese export turnover to the $30 billion market has decreased considerably, especially in interior products.


According to Hills News, people are increasingly turning to custom-made pieces to bring their interior design vision to life.

Creating personalised pieces for the home was once a luxury reserved for those with deep pockets.

But the rise of local Australian manufacturers specialising in custom-made furniture means supplier and freight costs are low. 

Rob Santalucia, General manager of Focus on Furniture, suggests the consumer trend can be attributed to the popularity of Pinterest and home renovating shows over the past decade. 

“Customers are researching styles and designs that suit their homes and they often know what they are looking for because they have so many ideas at their disposal,” he said.

There are some easy ways to get the most out of your custom-made experience. 

Working with a local manufacturer rather than interstate usually affords more creative control.

Function should always come before form when designing your piece.

Create a moodboard for your manufacturer, including fabric samples, magazine cut outs or sketches.

Consider working with a manufacturer in upcycling a vintage find rather than having one made from scratch for a custom piece for less.

Choosing to work with sustainable materials like recycled timber can leave you with more than just a clear conscience – it means you end up with a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture with a rich history behind it. 


According to ITTO, China’s log imports in 2016 totalled 48.73 million cubic metres valued at US$8.082 billion, a year-on-year increase of nine percent in volume and 0.3 percent in value. 

The average price for imported logs was US$166 per cubic metre, a year on year decline of eight percent.

Of total log imports, 2016 softwood log imports rose 13 percent to 34 million cubic metres, accounting for 70 percent of the national total. The average price for imported softwood logs was US$121 per cubic metre, down slightly on levels in 2015.


interzum guangzhou 2017, as Asia’s comprehensive woodworking machinery, furniture production and interior decoration trade fair, was held successfully at China import and Export Fair (Pazhou) Complex on March 28-31.

The exhibition has covered an area of 150,000 square meters, with nearly 1,396 exhibiting companies gathering at this flagship event of the industry, and it has attracted over 70,000 professional visitors from all over the world at the event.

During the four days, the show has brought many informative forums to attendees in the present. The topics are very extensive and up to date to woodworking industry, which referred to custom furnishing, colour trends on production, development of top grade melamine material, raw materials used in edgebandings, and the introduction of Swedish Wood industry. Especially for the last seminar, the speakers not only introduced the advantages and good properties of Swedish wood, but also described a lot on the study of wood grading, the measurement of wood moisture content, the methods of wood drying and preservation, and sawn timbers’ market trends, which can benefit a lot to the audience.


Effective Platform For Trade

The exhibition has also provided very effective platform for enterprises to conduct their business deeply, and more bright spots can be found compared to last year.

The CERATIZIT team, who provides comprehensive toolmaker solutions for the whole wood industry, indicated that the fair is quite good, and their booth has been expanded, so that they can discuss the business with their customers conveniently with getting in-depth understanding of each other’s requirements.

Besides, IMA Schelling Group’s representatives said: “We have displayed more brands this time. Except showing our new machinery, we have also added the concept of comprehensive plan including flexible production line of custom furniture and data switching.”

The U.S. Agricultural Trade Office, GZ and American Hardwood Export Council also used this opportunity to invite their customers from all over world to join their networking reception on the night of March 28. They have expressed great appreciation to their members and partners during the evening reception. People can negotiate business further and enjoy the meal at the same time.


Special Place For Conducting Business

The PLAZZA lounge is still the highlight of interzum guangzhou this year, which has been evolved into a marketplace for exchanging ideas, meetings and trades. Exhibitors and visitors can enjoy comfortable business discussion in a more relaxing environment.

interzum Guangzhou 2017 has opened with larger area for more exhibitors and visitors. As a world-renowned and professional trade fair, it has brought great chances for exhibitors and visitors to discuss business and seal the deal and all the audience can get latest information about woodworking industry timely. The next edition will be held in conjunction with the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) from 28 - 31 March.


 Polskie Radio reported that Poland is the sixth largest manufacturer and the fourth largest exporter of furniture in the world in terms of value, according to the Polish Chamber of Commerce of Furniture Manufacturers.

According to estimates, the value of furniture production in 2016 reached PLN 42.45 billion (EUR 9.84 bn/USD 10.43 bn).

"Poland is the sixth largest producer and the fourth largest exporter of furniture in the world, with a 6.3 percent share of global exports of furniture," said Head of the Office of the Polish Chamber of Commerce of Furniture Manufacturers, Michał Strzelecki, at a press conference on Monday.

According to Strzelecki, furniture is the fourth largest group of goods exported from Poland, shipped mainly to Germany (36 percent of Poland's furniture exports in 2016), the UK (8 percent), the Czech Republic (7 percent), France (6 percent) and the Netherlands (5 percent). 


According to insider, it reports that the combination of a highly competitive market and an increase in costs has hit profits at a Surrey-headquartered manufacturer of high-end office furniture during a year of consolidation and restructure, Insider can reveal.

Sven Christiansen is a privately-owned furniture manufacturing company, grown from a partnership established in 1974. The business designs and makes office desk systems, reception desks, conference and meeting tables, office screens and wall storage systems.

It operates from a head office and showroom in Guildford, a factory in the West Midlands (Kingswinford) and a showroom in Cumbernauld, Scotland, which opened earlier this year. The company is also set to open a London Design Studio in Clerkenwell this month.

Sven generated revenues of £12.22m in the financial year to 30 September 2016, newly filed accounts at Companies House have revealed, a marginal increase from £12.19m a year earlier.

But pre-tax profits fell from £337,476 to £229,127, which the business blamed on a rise in manufacturing costs, a highly competitive market and heightened exchange rate uncertainty in the final quarter of the year.

Sven’s corporate structure underwent change during the year (May 2016) as managing director Andrew Ralph sold his interest in the business and left the company, which is now wholly owned by Sven Group Ltd.

William O’Brien took over the position of managing director, and Paul Johnson and Chris Plumb were appointed to the board as sales director and finance director respectively.

Sven employs approximately 200 staff members across office & management, manufacturing, retail and distribution.


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.”

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