EghtesadOnline: A total of $75 million worth of furniture were exported during the last Iranian year (March 2019-20), registering a whopping rise of 290% compared with the previous year, according to the head of Furniture Manufacturers and Exporters Union.
“Our main export destinations over the period were Oman, Qatar, the UAE, Iraq, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Armenia,” Hassan Ahmadian was quoted by Fars News Agency as saying.
The official noted that the business, already in doldrums due to the troubled economic circumstances of Iranian households, was hit hard after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“The pandemic broke during the month leading to Norouz, the Iranian new year [started March 20], which is the time people think of refurbishing and redecorating their homes. The furniture sector gains a considerable amount of its revenues during this period. But this year our outlets were closed down and people were reluctant to make purchases.”
In preparation for the New Iranian Year, which falls in March, Iranians usually redecorate and renovate their homes.
Ahmadian added that decline in the value of national currency and government disruptions in the way of raw material imports have worsened the situation for the business.
According to the official, the Furniture and wood products industry has an annual turnover of more than $5 billion and accounts for around 8% of the country’s employment.
The western Iranian city of Malayer in Hamedan Province has been registered as the national hub of furniture making and wood carving.
Esmaeil Amini, the managing director of Marlik Furniture Production Group (a local furniture producer), told Financial Tribune in an interview that Malayer accounts for about 65-70% of Iran’s total furniture production.
According to Amini, over 15,000 people are working in Malayer in the field of furniture making and wood carving.
“Some 85,000 sets of carved furniture are produced in Iran every year, 50,000 of which are produced in Malayer alone,” he told us.
As the development of furniture industry is heavily dependent on up-to-date technology and equipment, Iranian furniture producers have faced many problems during years of sanctions, which prevented the import of technology, Mahmoud Hosseinpour, the managing director of Honarvaran Furniture Gallery, told us in a another interview.
"Unfortunately the absence of latest technology and domestic barriers such as high import tariffs and heavy taxes have not allowed Iranian producers to reach their full potential."
Ramin Samizadeh, of the Association of Furniture Makers says Iran is self-sufficient in the field of office furniture.
"Almost all the products in the market are domestically produced and their high quality has made them popular among customers," he has been quoted as saying.
Latest data provided by the Statistical Center of Iran show the average goods and services Consumer Price Index of "furniture, home appliances and their maintenance" group in the 12-month period ending August 21, which marks the end of the fifth Iranian month, Mordad, increased by 32.1% compared with last year’s corresponding period.
With a coefficient of 3.93%, the CPI of the group among 12 groups of the basket of consumer goods and services purchased by households stood at 302.3 last month, indicating a 5.9% increase compared with the month before.
The group’s CPI registered a year-on-year increase of 35.8%.