Source: Il Sole24 ore, 23/08/2017 – EOS Translation
Italy, one of the biggest furniture exporters of Europe, has seen its deliveries abroad increase by 2.6% in the first two months of 2017 compared with the corresponding period of 2016. A lively export market in the furniture export in Italy bodes well for the European wood-working industry, as Italy is one of the largest importers of timber.
While large European countries such as France (16.9%), Germany (11.9%) and the United Kingdom (9.3%) still have the highest share of Italian exports, the current lively furniture market is mainly determined by positive trends in extra-European countries: double-digit growth has been recorded in exports to China (+24%, with China now absorbing almost 3% of Italian exports) and to the United States (+10%, with the US now absorbing almost 8% of Italian exports).
An interesting development has also taken place in Mexico. Deliveries of furniture to that country have increased by almost 7%, while the whole Italian wood-working industry has seen its exports to Mexico grow by 11%. Many Italian entrepreneurs state that what makes Mexico attractive is a relatively stable political and macroeconomic context combined with a dynamic economic growth and a youthful and growing population. The Mexican government over the last few years has supported the construction sector, and many projects have been approved and are to be concluded shortly. Moreover, tariff barriers to Mexico are relatively low, and being a Spanish-speaking country so close to the United States, the Mexican middle and upper classes have a cultural affinity with products designed in Europe. Such cultural affinity is sometimes lacking in other emerging markets, which is why an Italian entrepreneur reckons that Italy is struggling in other emerging markets.
At any rate Mexico, while have a growing importance as an export market for Italy, ranks still only 31st in the list of export markets. But there are positive vibes which bode well for the future: over the next four years deliveries to Mexico are expected to increase overall by 38%.