Malaysian furniture export outlook remains bleak

US housing market began to cool, following the increase in interest rate (Image: Kae Ng/Unsplash)

Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research has reported that the outlook for the Malaysian furniture market remains bleak as the sector’s largest export destination, the US, continues to experience housing issues.

According to the research firm, the US housing market began to cool following the start of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases in 2022 as mortgage payments began to rise.

The HLIB commented that housing starts have stalled and existing homeowners are reluctant to sell as many have low interest rate mortgages which they could loose if they were to sell.

The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) also reported that wooden furniture exports in the first four months of 2023 declined by almost 40%.

Singapore, Malaysia’s second largest export market for wooden furniture, increased imports in early 2023, which helped to offset some of the decline in US imports.

Source: ITTO