Report: 2023 furniture imports fell 21.6%

Mann, Armistead & Epperson analysis shows major decline in shipments from China, Vietnam and Malaysia

HIGH POINT — Furniture imports were battered in 2023, largely the result of lackluster consumer demand that impacted the entire industry.

According to recent figures from investment banking firm Mann, Armistead & Epperson, household furniture imports fell 21.6% last year to $32.4 billion, from $41.4 billion in 2022. This was partly led by double-digit decreases in product shipped from China, Vietnam and Malaysia, to name a few key resources.

China’s shipments to the U.S. totaled $9.4 billion, down 29.7% from the $13.3 billion reported in 2022. The next largest exporter of furniture to the U.S. was Vietnam, which shipped $8.6 billion, down 19.8% from $10.7 billion a year earlier. Mexico was the third largest exporter, but its shipments were down 6% to $3.2 billion, from $3.4 billion in 2023, according to the report.

Also ranking in the Top 5 shippers to the U.S. market was Canada, the only country in the Top 10 with an increase. But it was relatively small at 1.5%, bumping the shipments to the U.S. market to $2.2 billion, from $2.15 billion in 2023. Next on the list was Italy, which saw its shipments decline 13.2% to $1.3 billion, from $1.5 billion in 2022.

Despite the decreases, the first half of the list of source countries shows the market depended on a diversified sourcing strategy not just from Asia, but also Europe and North America. While China and Vietnam shipments were among the largest, Mexico, Canada and Italy remained important resources because of a mix of capabilities — largely wood furniture and some upholstery in the case of Mexico and Canada, and largely leather upholstery and a smaller amount of wood furniture from Italy.

As expected, the remaining top sources on the list were from Asia, led by Indonesia in the No. 6 spot, with $1.3 billion in shipments, down 30% from the $1.8 billion it shipped in 2022. Its specialty areas include wood furniture as well as mixed-media accents.

Next in order of importance was Malaysia, whose shipments totaled $1.1 billion, down 36.6% from $1.7 billion in 2022, marking the largest percentage drop of those in the Top 10. It largely supplies lower-cost wood bedroom and dining room furniture to the U.S. market, along with some upholstery, an indication that demand has fallen off sharply in some of the lower price points.

India, which is largely known as a resource for case goods, occasional and accent furniture made with indigenous wood species such as sheesham, acacia and mango, saw its shipments fall 20.7% to $676 million, from $852 million a year earlier.

Taiwan saw its shipments fall 23.8% to $666 million, from $874 million. This former case goods producing country saw much of its production shift to China in the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2000s. Today it is mainly known for producing occasional, entertainment and office furniture made with mixed-media elements such as metal and glass.

Last within the Top 10 exporting countries was Thailand, whose shipments to the U.S. dropped 33.9% last year, to $527 million from $797 million in 2022. It largely produces furniture using wood species and natural mixed-media elements that are indigenous to Indonesia.

While overall household furniture imports were down from both 2022 ($41.4 billion) and 2021 ($38.6 billion), the numbers showed they were still well above early pandemic and pre-pandemic levels of $30.7 billion in 2020, $29.8 billion in 2019, $32.2 billion in 2018, $29.5 billion in 2017 and $26.7 billion in 2016.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

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