Colombia, a potentially big market for Malaysian furniture

The high demand for wooden furniture in Colombia represents a big potential for the export of Malaysian wood products to the South American country.

Colombia's import of wooden furniture demonstrated a higher pace of growth than exports for the period of 2.010-2.012.

In a statement today, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) said the increase was due to the rising affluence in the country, growth in the construction sector and competitive prices of imported furniture.

"Malaysia's export of wooden furniture to Colombia increased by 171.4% from US$0.7mil in 2.010 to US$1.9mil in 2.012.

"It was the sixth largest supplier with a 5.2% market share for dining tables and other wooden furniture, as well as third largest for upholstered wooden frames at 5.3%,".

It added that market competition and cost pressure has led an increasing number of medium and large-sized Colombian companies to source furniture from Asia.

Matrade's Trade Commissioner in Miami (United States), Jonathan Rao said the products with the highest potential are, ready to assemble (RTA) wooden bedroom and home office furniture.

"The low to medium high-income consumers are the most attractive segment with an urban Colombian preference for contemporary design furniture," he added.

Rao said although price was the main purchasing factor for the low and medium income segments, quality and design were also very important.

In general, Colombian consumers were not loyal to a particular brand and had a great variation in their preferences. 

According to the National Federation of Retailers (Fenalco), retail sales of home furniture in Colombia is projected to grow by 5.8%.

Matrade has urged Malaysian exporters and manufacturers of wood products to seize the opportunities and capitalise on developments in Colombia by supplying competitively priced and quality wood products to the market there.

Berny Polanía

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