The Salone del Mobile, which is one of the biggest date on the world's furniture calendar will take place in Milan from the 12th until the 17th of April 2016. Approximately 2,400 exhibitors are expected to take part to this fair, including a large number of foreign manufacturers will make up 30% of all manufacturers. Several Italian manufacturers will then have the chance to liaise and network with foreign operators. Indeed the export sector is a key driver of growth for Italian manufacturers.
After seven consecutive years of decline, 2015 was a positive year for Italian manufacturers as the turnover grew by 3.6% compared with 2014, to almost 25 billion Euros. Exports were especially buoyant as they grew by more than 6%, to 12.5 billion Euros. Mr Roberto Snaidero, President of Federlegno Arredo, reckons that the export sector will continue to remain very important for Italian manufacturers.
The exports to the US and the UK markets were particularly positive as they grew respectively by 22.4 and 15.3%; turnover to these countries exceeded 1 billion Euros. Exports to China (+27.5%) and Iran (32.9%) also rose remarkably.
Both the kitchen and bathroom sectors were especially affected by the long economic crisis as they are less export-oriented than other sectors. But finally in 2015 the negative trend was bucked.
Overall, the kitchen sector turnover in 2015 was almost 1.85 billion Euros, which is a 3.7% increase compared with 2014; Exports accounted for 39% of the total turnover (in 2014 they accounted for 37% they grew by 10.1%). France remains the largest export market with 128 million Euros (+1.1% vs 2014), followed by the US (93 million Euros, +72%), and Russia (55 million euros, -26.4%).
As regards the bathroom sector, its turnover grew by 1% in 2015 and reached almost 2.6 billion Euros. Exports accounted for 38% of the total turnover (in 2014 they accounted for 37%, they grew by 4.4%). Germany is the largest export destination with 139 million Euros (+6.2%), closely followed by France (137 million Euros, -0.3%); UK ranks third with 92 million Euros (+4.6%).
Overall in Italy, the wooden furniture sector is made up of 81,500 enterprises, which employ 326,000 people. Mr Snaidero is confident that even 2016 will be a positive year.
Source: “Il sole 24 ore”: the Italian economic daily newspaper.