India a key market for Swedish pine

India seems to be warming up to the idea of Swedish pine, particularly for furniture and joinery. Architects and designers alike have shown great interest in this versatile and sustainable material, an observation made by Swedish Wood at the India Wood trade show held from March 8 – 12 in Bangalore.

“The younger generation is showing an interest in softwood furniture that is relatively light, modern and is easy to transport when moving house, for example,” Charlotte Dedye Apelgren, director of Interior and Design at Swedish Wood, said.

There was strong interest in the Swedish softwoods, particularly pine, from the Indian furniture and joinery companies, wood importers, interior designers, architects and furniture designers.

At the show, Swedish Wood also signed a joint agreement with Indian state training body the Furniture & Fitting Skill Council (FFSC). Under the agreement, Swedish Wood will help India work industrially with softwood in the manufacture of furniture and joinery products.

“The FFSC sees a considerable need for training in the furniture industry in India, and as the Swedish sawmill industry increases its exports of softwood to the country, it is important to also drive up expertise in the furniture and joinery industry on how best to work with the material,” Apelgren explained.

Swedish exports of sawn wood products to India are currently quite modest, but they are growing rapidly. Last year, Sweden exported 27,000 cubic metres of sawn softwood worth around SEK 50 million (US$6 million). That represents a 35 per cent increase compared with 2016. The volume of exports has more than trebled since 2013.

Sweden is the fifth largest country for softwood exports to India, after Germany and Canada. The Swedish sawmill industry sees India as a priority market for the future, and exports to India from Sweden are expected to continue growing.