WASHINGTON – U.S. imports of wood and upholstered furniture increased a relatively modest 4.3% through the first nine months of 2006 compared to the same period for 2005.

Led by China and Vietnam, which posted gains of 15.2% and 23.5% respectively, imports reached $13.658 billion, according to figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. China continues to draw away from Canada as the top source of furniture and wood components for the United States. China’s shipments topped $6.7 billion and represented just shy of half of all U.S. furniture imports recorded in through September 2006.

Vietnam, meanwhile, continues play a more prominent role as a furniture and component supplier to the United States. The Communist country, which ended 2005 as the fifth leading source, climbed into third position with a nine-month shipment total of $740 million.

Italy, which has been supplanted by Vietnam, dropped to fifth as shipments declined 21.4% to $721 million. Brazil also took a large hit as shipments fell by 27.7% through the first three quarters of 2006.

U.S. furniture makers saw exports increase by 2.3% to $1.148 billion. The nation's furniture trade deficit reached $12.51 billion for the first nine months of 2006. - Rich Christianson

 

 

TOP 10 SOURCES OF U.S. FURNITURE IMPORTS

(in $ millions)

 

         Jan-Sep 2006 vs. Jan-Sep. 2005   % change

 

China          6,772              5,879                  +15.2

Canada       1,956              1,936                    +1.0

Vietnam        740                 599                  +23.5

Malaysia       714                 653                    +9.3

Mexico         589                 592                     -0.5

Italy             567                  721                   -21.4

Indonesia      559                 542                    +3.1

Thailand       318                 362                    -12.2

Brazil           263                 364                    -27.7

Philippines    200                 200                       0.0

Top 10   12,678           11,848                    +7.0

All Others   1,190              1,247                     -4.6

 

Total U.S.

Imports      13,658            13,095                    +4.3

Total U.S.

Exports        1,148             1,024                     +2.3

U.S. Trade

Deficit       12,510            12,071                     +3.6

 

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce

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