According to HMRC data, imports of upholstery increased by 19.5% in the first 6 months of 2019 compared to the same period last year. In value, this represents £436 million. China increased its presence in the UK by 29% with imports totalling £213 million, with an average price per kilogramme of £4.04. Poland too posted improved figures with a rise of 19.5% in upholstery imports to reach £82 million and at a more competitive price than China with the average price per kilogramme at £3.94. Between them, both countries imported 68% of upholstery to the UK. Data for just the month of July however suggests that upholstery imports have declined slightly.
By comparison, the UK exported £51 million of upholstery around the world from January to June this year, the bulk of which went to Europe. Overall there was a 1% rise in exports. However, the surprise is that the average export price of the £41 million that Europe received was £3.75 per kilogramme, a lower price that either Poland or China. However, the reverse is true for exports outside of the EU. While totalling only £10 million, the average price per kilogramme was £17.28.