Russian furniture industry has overcome the recession. However, imports continue to grow at an accelerated pace.
The Russian furniture industry finally got the better of recession. According to the last report of AMEDORO (Association of furniture and woodworking enterprises of Russia) for the period of January-September 2011, the furniture production in Russia exceeded the level of pre-crisis 2008.
The year-to-year increase amounted to 13.3% (from about 65 billion rubles in January-September 2010 to 73.4 billion rubles in the same period of 2011). As a result, furniture production reached the level of January-September 2008 in current prices, and increased by 7.5% in compared prices (taking into account the price index of 105.38).
Central Federal District has the largest share (38.4%) of domestic furniture production. It is followed by Volga Federal District (26.9%) and Northwestern Federal District (11.4%) - the usual balance of power of the geographic strata in Russian furniture industry.
Production index fell below 100 percentage points in the categories of chairs (91.4) and armchairs (74.4). The highest growth rate recorded in the mattress sector (+10.1%). The remaining product categories are growing more slowly.
Furniture imports to Russia exceeded US $2 billion in January-September 2011, and its growth rate (+41.3% year-to-year) is much faster than in domestic production. In spite of considerable import duties (40% and above), the volume of imports of low priced furniture is growing at a faster pace (+65.7% for the furniture priced less than 1.8 euro/kg). Such furniture competes directly with the products of the majority of domestic producers.
The positive dynamics of furniture imports from China remained consistently high. The index of Chinese imports amounted to 144.5 in the reporting period.
The share of imports in the furniture market is about 55%, according to the official statistics, and about 38% when taking into account the shadow economy sector.
Furniture exports to the far abroad countries increased by 57.1%, exports to Belarus increased by 24.7%. Exports to the CIS countries, by contrast, decreased by 41.2%. The composite index of all exports (including the CIS countries and Belarus) reached 107.6. AMEDORO is pleased to note that the increase in shipments to foreign countries was due to the ready-made furniture, rather than its parts.