Even with a 4.5% drop in the volume of produced parts (35.8 million) in February compared to January, the accumulated result in the first two months of 2021 showed an increase of 5.5%. Thus, demonstrating a stronger than usual start to the year in the Brazilian furniture industry. The apparent consumption of furniture and bedding (mattresses) in the domestic market followed the same pace, with an increase of 4.6% in the accumulated result for the first two months and a reduction of 3.1% over the next few months.
The numbers are part of the “Conjuntura de Móveis”, April 2021 edition, a study commissioned by ABIMÓVEL – the Brazilian Furniture Manufacturers Association and developed by IEMI – Market Intelligence. In addition to general data on the national furniture industry, including exports and imports, the report also provides detailed information on production, employment, investments, as well as furniture and bedding retail in different regions of the country.
Employment rates in the furniture industry
With a heated production, the employment volume in the sector increased by 0.9% in February compared to the previous month. In the year, compared to the same period in 2020, however, there was a drop of 5.4%. The number of working hours also jumped 2.2% month-to-month, but there was a decline of 3.8% in the two-month period. Indicators that in general show that the industry is growing again.
As a matter of fact, given these numbers, it is important to emphasize that even in a time of high demand in the domestic and foreign market for furniture and bedding, companies today cannot fully meet their customers’ requests due to the lack of raw materials. With many factories having to cancel orders or delay delivery, others having to streamline the structure and reduce staff or workload as ways to manage the restriction of sales imposed by the supply crisis.
Despite the situation, the furniture industry was one of those that registered one of the highest positive balances of job vacancies in the months of January and February 2021 in Brazil. Proving, in this way, the assertiveness of the actions taken by the sector’s businessmen at this very unique moment, which requires adequacy and objectivity, with the national economy seeking support in the manufacturer’s performance.
In this context, imports of machinery for furniture manufacturing increased by 54.3% in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2020. Thus, pointing to an optimistic planning and investments by the sector and its manufacturers. Two categories, in particular, drew attention for their very expressive advance: machines for bending or gathering (+670.9%) and machines for drilling or slotting (+397.8%).
Speaking of imports, Brazil imported around US$ 24 million in furniture and bedding (mattresses) in February 2021, which represents an increase of 20.2% compared to the previous month. On the other hand, in March, imports dropped 13.3%, in the month-to-month comparison, reaching the amount of US$ 20.8 million.
When dealing with regional production, the volume of produced parts in the states of the Southern region of the country followed the national logic, with a drop in monthly variation and an increase in the accumulated result for January and February.
When it comes to employment, the number of formal jobs in the furniture industry in these states also increased. Santa Catarina, +2.1; Rio Grande do Sul, +1.8%; Paraná, +1.2%. This was also observed in other relevant states in other regions, such as Sao Paulo, +1.3%; and Minas Gerais, +1.7%.
Speaking of Minas Gerais, in the first quarter of 2021, the state furniture exports expanded by 53.4%. Its main trading partners were the United States, destination of 14.9% of the amount; followed by the United Arab Emirates (13%) and Bolivia (10.7%).
Furniture exports from Sao Paulo, on the other hand, advanced 20% between January and March. The main destination was, once again, the United States, with a very significant representation of 45.2%. Following are two South American countries: Chile (11.9%) and Peru (7.5%).
As noted in the industrial production, domestic retail furniture sales both in volume and in values registered a fall in February compared to January and an increase in the accumulated result for the year. The volume of pieces sold dropped 8.5% compared to the previous month and rose 0.3% in the total for the two-month period. Sales in values had a drop of 7.8% compared to the previous month and an increase of 1.2% in the two months.
According to the Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA) of the IBGE – the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, domestic furniture prices rose 0.54% in March 2021 compared to February. With such a result, the first quarter of the year has already registered an increase of 3.16%.
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Brazilian Furniture Manufacturers Association – ABIMÓVEL
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