Global demand for German-made furniture continues to increase. In the first half of 2018, German furniture exports increased by 2.2% to around 5.5 billion euros. "With a share of almost 70% of total exports, the European Union remains the main market for the German furniture manufacturers, yet the highest growth rates are achieved outside of Europe," says Jan Kurth, Managing Director of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM).
The German furniture industry has more than doubled its export quota since the turn of the millennium. Almost every third piece of furniture produced in Germany is now being exported. The most important sales markets are the neighboring countries France and Switzerland, each with over 10% of total exports.
It is followed by Austria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Belgium with 5-10% each. The two largest furniture markets in the world, the USA (4.7%) and China (3.2%), are likely to soon reach the top of the league in view of the high growth rates. German furniture exports to the US rose by 9.5% in the first half of 2018 compared with the first half of 2017, and by 25.9% to China.
Other markets outside the EU, such as Russia, Canada, Mexico or Japan, are also becoming increasingly important, even though their share of German furniture exports is still relatively low. "All in all, exports will become the most important engine of growth in the German furniture industry in the coming years," concludes Kurth.