Set as a target market by the Turkish furniture sector, exports to the U.S. saw a major increase in the first four months of this year.
Furniture exports to the U.S. posted the highest increase among markets from January to April, increasing by 44 percent year-on-year to $52.9 million, official figures showed. The same figure totaled $36.6 million in the same period of last year.
According to Aegean Exporters' Association (EİB) data, Turkey made $1 billion from furniture exports to 94 countries in the January-April 2018 period. In the same period of this year, on the other hand, this figure rose by 7 percent to $1.1 billion. Iraq took the lead in exports with $146.5 million, followed by Germany with $78.3 million and Saudi Arabia with $78 million.
Cahit Doğan Yağcı, the chairman of the Aegean Furniture, Paper and Forestry Products Exporters Association, was quoted by Anadolu Agency (AA) as saying that Turkey had good fortune in the furniture industry. Noting that the most important reason for this was the know-how and the production of handmade furniture, Yağcı stressed the sector posted a foreign trade surplus.
He further suggested that Turkey would be one of the world's top five furniture exporters, adding that market analysis should be determined well to push it further.
Yağcı recalled that the U.S. paid about $50 billion for furniture annually. "The Turkish furniture sector is growing in the U.S. market. We only need to pay attention to certificate requests implemented in some states," he continued. "For example, in the state of California, a Carb Certificate is applied. This includes some articles like the minimum amount of a substance that should be used in chipboard production. This certificate has been reportedly accepted by other states as well."
He also added that they sent dining room sets, sofas, spring mattresses and kitchen tools to the U.S. from Turkey, reminding the media that they achieved $3.1 billion in furniture exports in 2018. "I think we can reach $4 billion this year. There was also an increase in the first four months," he said, pointing to the high freight expenses in furniture exports to the U.S. due to the distance.
"We have advised our ministry to build a logistics warehouse in the U.S. The goal here is to send the disassembled products to the warehouse, assemble them there and sell to the customers as quickly as possible," he said. "Otherwise, we may have problems because of the long logistics period. I think we will have a serious advantage in freight if we do this. The costs can be shared by the companies that will store their products in this warehouse."