- Economy and marketing
The data processed by the FederlegnoArredo Study Center on Istat sources reveal how the slowdown in exports of the wood-furniture supply chain continues in July-September.
In reality, exports of the wood-furniture supply chain still recorded a positive figure in the first nine months of 2022: in fact, they amounted to approximately 15.6 billion euros and grew overall in all Italian regions by 16%, compared to the same period of 2021. But if these data are compared with the quarters of 2021, it can be seen that exports in 2022 are decreasing quarter after quarter: from +21% in the first quarter, to +16% in the second, to +11% in July- September 2022.
Claudio Feltrin, president of FederlegnoArredo comments on these data as follows: “It now seems clear that the growth trend is progressively slowing down throughout the country and also in the most important regions for our supply chain. The same +11% in July-September 2022 which was +18.4% in January-June, certainly cannot make us sleep peacefully, since as recent research and Bankitalia also show, inflation is not destined to go down and the turnover of companies, especially the smallest ones, could be inflated by high prices and price list adjustments, drastically reducing growth and margins”.
Lombardy: exports tend to be stable
FederlegnoArredo data capture the state of health of the wood-furniture sector mainly devoted to exports and in which regions such as Lombardy, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia cover almost 70% of the exported value.
Let's see in detail the data of these three regions.
Lombardy (3.7 billion euros) with +18.8% of supply chain exports confirms a basically stable trend compared to the results of January-June (+19%) and July-September +18.4%. Comparing the first three quarters of '22 with the quarters of '21, it goes from +22.8% in January-March to +15.8% in April-June and then rises again in July-September to 18.4%.
Lombardy companies mainly export to France (+14.5%), but the most consistent growth was recorded in the United States, the second outlet market, with +30.7%. In the United Arab Emirates, the tenth market, growth was +27.7%. The province of Monza and Brianza is in third place in Italy for exported value with 983 million euros and a growth of 19.2%.
In Veneto some signs of a slowdown
Veneto (3 billion euros), on the other hand, shows some more signs of a slowdown than Lombardy, going from +15.5% in January-June 2022 to +14.5% in January-September and with a July-September drop to +12.3%, retreating by around 2 points from the first quarter (+14.6%) and by a good 4 points from the second quarter (+16.4%).
Germany is the main outlet for Veneto exports, where growth is +19.1%. However, exports to Belgium, the seventh market, with a +20.5% made it the country with the greatest growth. Treviso remains the first province at national level for exported value of the wood-furniture supply chain with 1.8 billion euros and a +12.7% compared to the same period of 2021.
Friuli Venezia Giulia: a loss of over 11 percentage points
Friuli-Venezia Giulia (1.9 billion euros) with a +21.7% is the region that recorded the highest percentage change in the first 9 months of 2022, but at the same time it is the one that has had the slowest abrupt compared to the +25% of the previous semester. Indeed, the quarters show a sharp drop in exports compared to '21 equal to over 11 percentage points: first quarter +26.4%; second quarter +23.8%; third quarter +15%.
In the top countries, the United Kingdom takes first place with a +28.5% followed by the United States (+51.4%) which, together with Canada (+92.7%) in seventh place, records the best. Pordenone is the second province in Italy for export value with 1.2 billion euros and a +27.2%.
The possible causes of this slowdown
Claudio Feltrin notes how Lombardy somehow managed to remain stable, while Veneto and above all Friuli Venezia Giulia suffered the most. In looking for the causes of this slowdown, Feltrin states that one could “judge the hypothesis that the merit of the Lombard estate is the daughter above all of the region's vocation for exports to the USA in the high-end furniture range. In fact, we cannot forget how the repercussions of the war in Ukraine and the weight of high energy prices make themselves felt much more in Europe, as would also be demonstrated by the data from the Veneto region, which still has its major outlet markets in the old continent, from Germany and France. The 11 points lost by Friuli-Venezia Giulia seem to be reflected in the retreat on the major outlet markets, starting with the United Kingdom where it has lost 6 and the United States where it has lost 12 since June. It is obvious that the continuation of the Ukrainian conflict could favor regions that have their core business overseas or in emerging countries outside Europe and are aimed at a high-end public, more free from the high cost of living”.
Good exports in the furniture sector
As regards the sectors, Furniture is still the most significant in the supply chain in terms of exported value with a total of over 9 billion euros and a growth of +16% in the period January-September 2022. In the first half of the year, however, the sector had reached +18.2% to then drop to +11.5% in July-September 2022, broadly reflecting the overall trend of the wood-furniture supply chain.