Great Britain – the fifth most important exporter to the German furniture industry – performed weak in major European sales markets. German furniture sales in the United Kingdom fell 9.3 percent to 421 million euros. Other EU markets: France (-5.6 per cent), Austria (-3.5), Belgium (-5.1) and Spain (-10.2). In contrast, exports to Switzerland increased significantly (plus 6.5 percent).
Furniture sales to the United States, the most important non-European sales market, fell sharply (-14.6 percent). Exports to China fell 5.7 percent, with significant differences between individual production groups. As for kitchen furniture manufacturers, China has become one of the most important growth markets with 13 percent.
When exporting to Great Britain, the German furniture industry is currently primarily concerned with an additional management burden as revealed in a recent study of furniture associations among their member companies. Ninety-four percent of surveyed furniture manufacturers complain that customs systems are too expensive. “More effort is required, especially with regard to regulations and certificates of origin”.
In addition, more than half of the companies reported additional waiting hours at the border, and 30 percent of companies reported delivery delays. For the current year, 42 per cent of companies are preparing to further reduce exports to Great Britain. 36% of furniture manufacturers expect stable exports to the UK, while 22% of furniture manufacturers expect an upward trend.
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