22 July 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

Furniture and home products are displayed in this Business Mirror file photo of a trade expo meant to open doors to local and international buyers of the country’s premium home, fashion, holiday, architectural and interior products. Furniture products comprise some of the country’s best exports.

Local furniture manufacturers are working to bring down the rising costs of major raw materials and components as they aim to boost exports growth even amid strong domestic market.

Myrna Bituin, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) trustee for the furniture sector, said they would like to meet with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) officials so they could provide them the legal source of lumber.

“We don’t want to use illegal [sources],” she said, noting furniture makers then wanted to connect with these legitimate suppliers of plantation species.

Bituin pointed out that prices of raw materials now comprise a huge portion of their production costs.

She noted it is “not easy” to increase prices, thus, exporters have to absorb rising costs to protect customers from those adjustments. She added the group also intends to buy in bulk raw materials otherwise, it is cheaper to import these.

Bituin remains hopeful of achieving exports growth in 2019 after posting flat growth in the first half of the year.

“On the high-end market, we are still okay,” she added. “But the local market is good. It is the local market that is really earning.”

Image Credits: Alysa Salen