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Vietnam replaces China as largest furniture exporter to US

Vietnam has overtaken China as the largest furniture exporter to the U.S. as tariffs drive manufacturers out of the world’s second largest economy. Vietnam exported $7.4 billion worth of furniture to the U.S. last year, compared to China’s $7.33 billion, according to data from U.S. magazine Furniture Today. This marked a 31 percent year-on-year surge for Vietnam, while that of China fell 25 percent.

The shift has happened over the past two and a half years with the U.S. imposing tariffs as high as 25 percent on almost all furniture categories from China, pushing manufacturers to move out, according to the VN EXPRESS online newspaper. 

In 2018 and 2019, Vietnam’s furniture shipments to the U.S. rose by double digits each year, while that of China fell by double digits.

“That doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Fred Henjes, CEO of Riverside Furniture Corp. “We are no longer buying products out of China, and I know there are many others besides us.” Strong import categories of this company from Vietnam include bedroom, dining room and home office furniture, Furniture Today quoted him as saying.

Another company, Klaussner Home Furnishings, sources all of its wood furniture from Vietnam now. Its sales in the wood segment from Vietnam were up 10 percent last year.

The U.S. was Vietnam’s largest export market in the first four months at $30.3 billion, up 50 percent, followed by China at $16.8 billion, up 32.4 percent.



Vietnam leads furniture exports to US

HIGH POINT — Vietnam’s reign as the largest furniture exporter to the U.S. market appears to be only just beginning.

As the coronavirus pandemic dwindled down in the first half of 2021, the Asian country’s imports to the U.S. surged 76% over the same period of 2020. Furniture Today research shows the country shipped $5.1 billion in furniture the first half of the year.

That puts it above longtime behemoth China, which sent over nearly $4.6 billion in furniture for the first half of the year. Vietnam overtook China in 2020, marking one of the most dramatic shifts in furniture imports in recent history. But the gap between the two remains small, and current circumstances may tip the scale back in China’s favor.

Vietnam now infamously began shutting down in late July, thanks to a COVID-19 outbreak. A government order prevented people from moving, and factories could only remain open if workers lived there. This sparked a multitude of supply and labor issues in the country, which are still being felt.

Malaysia and Indonesia made the top 10 once again, exporting $873 million and $604 million, respectively. Thailand saw a whopping 97% increase to $219 million, and Poland saw an 80% increase to $181 million. Italy’s rise also shouldn’t be overlooked. The country exported over $554 million in furniture to the U.S., a 72% increase over 2020.