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Wood-furniture supply chain: slowdown also in the third quarter, but overall positive closing in 2022

The data from the Wood-Furniture Monitor, elaborated by the FederlegnoArredo Study Center, show a slowdown for the wood-furniture supply chain also in the third quarter, a slowdown that had already begun to be perceived in the second quarter of 2022. Despite this, the 2022 closure is however overall positive.

More than 450 companies participated in the FederlegnoArredo Monitor which, in terms of total sales, exceeded 7.9 billion euros in the period January-September 2022: over 250 of the Furniture Macro System and just over 200 of the Wood Macro System. Risking a year-end forecast, it could be assumed for the wood-furniture supply chain a closure of +12%, which corresponds to a +8.1% for the Macro Furniture System and a +17.1% for the Macro Wood System.

The data of the Wood-Furniture Monitor

These are the data from the Wood-Furniture Monitor: after the +24.5% recorded by the wood-furniture supply chain in the first quarter of 2022, and the +22.2% in the first half of 2022, in the period January-September 2022 the value of sales of supply chain dropped to +17.7%.

Exports of the wood-furniture supply chain, which represents 41% of the total, recorded a +14% in September 2022 compared to 2021 (it was +16.3% in the first six months of 2022) with a value of approximately 3.2 billion euros, while the Italian market, which represents 59%, marks a +20.5% (it was +26.7% in the first six months) with a value of 4.7 billion euros.

Data analysis according to Claudio Feltrin

Claudio Feltrin, president of FederlegnoArredo, commented: “Unfortunately, reading the data from our Monitor confirms what we had said and predicted in the previous monthsThere were and still are signs of a slowdown and the uncertainty of the geopolitical and economic scenario forces us to be extremely cautious, while welcoming the closing of the year with a positive sign which could end in double figures. A result that is anything but obvious, but it should be read considering the significant increase in the prices of raw materials. If we are in fact seeing a decrease in the cost of energy, which has a positive impact on particularly energy-intensive products such as panels, at the moment there are weak signs of a decrease in the cost of the raw materials that go into making up our final products. Plastic recorded a -1.6% in October over September, aluminum a -1.3% and copper -1.5%. Still too little to be able to say that the much-desired turnaround is upon us”.

The investment plans of the wood-furniture supply chain

The FederlegnoArredo Monitor also investigated how the companies taking part in the survey are organizing themselves with respect to their investment plans.

First of all, the answers show that the sector has never stopped investing, despite the climate of uncertainty. For the entire wood-furniture supply chain, over 60% of companies indicate investments for energy efficiency as a priority (for 27% it is very important, for 36% it is extremely important); to follow, for 54% of the companies participating in the survey there are productive investments (for 35% very significant and for 19% extremely significant). The digitization of business processes is also perceived as very relevant (by 31% of respondents) or extremely relevant (by 21% of respondents).For the Macro Wood System after the energy theme, investments in human resources emerge (for 50% of respondents it is very or extremely relevant) and productive ones (49% of respondents) while for the Macro Furniture System the priority is to increase its presence abroad (for almost 70% of respondents).


Sustainability, a fundamental issue for the sector

The wood-furniture sector is also confirmed to be attentive to the issue of sustainability; the companies participating in the survey recognize its value and the need to pursue it, even within actions such as productive and efficiency-enhancing investments.
“In this scenario – concluded the president Feltrin – we continue with even more conviction and determination in the development of the Fla-Plus project launched by the Federation precisely to support and accompany our companies on the path to sustainability. Concrete projects and prestigious partnerships that have the precise objective of not leaving anyone alone in this difficult and unavoidable path. For us, sustainability represents the future, and the Federation must give all companies the opportunity to take this path".

The Fla-Plus project, launched by FederlegnoArredo, has already obtained a prestigious recognition, namely admission to the United Nations Global Compact, the most important global corporate sustainability programme, for the validity and quality of the choices made.

In the photo, the Living stand at the 2022 Milan Furniture Fair (ph. Alessandro Russotti).