Furniture imports down in December as exports rise

Furniture imports during December 2023 declined on the same month last year while exports from the UK were boosted by Irish trade.

According to the latest UK trade data, analysed by Big Furniture Group, total imports of furniture into Britain valued £735.2m in December 2023, down 10.4% from £820.7m against the same month the previous year.

Imports from the EU registered a decrease of 13% to £365.3m from £420.3m, with most countries reporting a decline. The highest growth rate was Estonia, up 15.1% to a value of £4.9m, while Italy also saw growth, up 6.1% to £64.7m, alongside Poland, up 5.4% to £73.6m. German imports declined 12% to £50.7m, as did French imports, down 14% to £30.5m.

As for outside the EU, total imports fell 7.6% to a value of £369.8m from £400.3m. Chinese imports were down 3% to £254.2m, while USA was also down by 31% to £17.1m. Imports from Vietnam fell 1.9% to £16.8m, while a notable increase came from Turkey, up 7% to £23m.

Moving to exports, the total value of UK furniture leaving the country rose 46% to £359.6m from £246.1m. In Europe, exports rose 83.4% to £243.1m from £132.5m, with exports to Ireland surging 370% to a value of £152m. Exports to Belgium rose 31% to £6.5m, while Germany and France both saw declines of 9% to £18.7m and 7% to £24.6m respectively.

Outside the EU saw exports grow 2.5% to £116.5m from £113.6m. Exports to China were up 8.2% to £4.9m, with Australia rising 44% to £5.1m. Japan saw a significant uptick by 92%, valuing £2.6m, while exports to the USA rose 1.5% to £49.1m. Exports to UAE declined 18% to £9m.

Full list of imports and exports by country and value

For the monthly data and all other annual changes across four main sectors of the market – including upholstery, mattresses, cabinet and carpets, download the full report below.

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