Analysis of Eurostat trade data reveals that internal EU trade in wood furniture, which increased 4% to Euro16.2 billion in 2016, continued to rise in 2017.
This trend is driven both by the slow rise in EU consumption and by rising dependence of the internal EU market on manufacturers located in lower cost member states of Eastern Europe, particularly Poland, Romania, and Lithuania.
The EU has maintained a trade surplus in wood furniture since 2011 when exports to non-EU countries overtook imports from outside the EU.
This surplus remained broadly flat between the start of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 (averaging close to Euro3 billion per annum), as both imports and exports were stable.
However, there were some early signs of a slight narrowing in the trade surplus in the second quarter of 2017 (to around Euro2.8 billion per annum) as imports began to pick up.