GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Furniture Entrepreneurs Association (MFEA) is projecting a 5% to 10% increase in export sales of Malaysian-made furniture products this year to over RM8bil from RM7.67 a year ago, compared with a 3% to 5% forecast in April.
MFEA president Lor Lean Sen said the revised forecast was due to the higher export sales in the first five months of 2012.
The first five months saw export sales grew 10.3% to RM3.1bil from RM2.86bil achieved in the same period last year.
”The United States ranked as the top furniture buyer from Malaysia with a purchase of RM899mil, compared with RM771mil bought in the same period last year.
”According to the latest reports by CNNMoney, home prices in the United States surged 2.1% this quarter from the first quarter. The demand for properties in the United States is resuming, indicating that people are buying properties again to move into new homes, which will require new furniture set.
“This is why the United States is importing more Malaysian-made furniture,” Lor said.
Japan, Singapore, and Australia ranked second, third, and fourth in terms of furniture imports from Malaysia for the five-month period.
“Japan imported RM258mil worth of furniture products, while Singapore and Australia purchase RM239mil and RM204mil respectively from Malaysia,” he said.
Lor said that Malaysia had also imported less furniture products during the January-May period. “Malaysia imported RM511mil worth of furniture products, compared with RM522mil in the previous corresponding period. This means less competition and more business for the local furniture players.
“Now that the US dollar has strengthened, furniture exporters can also improve their margins with better foreign exchange,” he said.
Lor said the Plantation, Industries and Commodities Ministry planned a furniture research centre to enhance the competitive edge of the local furniture industry.
“The centre would facilitate for local furniture players to work with overseas furniture designers and marketing consultants to further growth the furniture industry here,” he said.
At present, rubber-wood prices currently hovers between RM1,600 to RM1,700 per tonne, compared with RM1,800 to RM2,000 per tonne in April.
Source by: The Star
Picture by: kualalumpurcity.olx
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