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This study covers the global furniture laminates industry, defined here to include the following types of decorative laminates used in the production of a variety of furniture, including bedroom furniture, desks, workstations, and casegoods, such as bookcases and other shelving units:
low-basis weight papers
thermoplastic film (e.g., vinyl, polyester, polypropylene)
Historical data are provided for 2009, 2014, and 2019, with forecasts for 2024 and 2029. Demand is provided in US dollars and square meters for furniture laminates by type, region, and major national market.
Several assumptions have been made in order to ease understanding or to facilitate comparisons. For example, many furniture laminates are produced and sold in roll form to furniture producers or manufacturers, who then bond the laminate to a rigid substrate as part of the manufacturing process. This is frequently done with decorative foils and vinyl films. However, in the case of some furniture laminates, such as saturated papers, the laminates may be bonded to a substrate by the laminates producer and not by the customer due to the expense inherent in purchasing and operating the necessary machinery. So as not to skew the results (since some laminates are sold already bonded to a substrate and are therefore more expensive), all data treat laminates as unmounted, and pricing and other data have been modified accordingly.
Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic
Among the major global decorative laminates markets, the furniture market was the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
As a result, global demand for furniture laminates fell nearly 11% in 2020. While all regions experienced losses in furniture laminates demand due to COVID-19-related government shutdowns the hardest hit regions were Central and South America and Western Europe, where the pandemic exacerbated already weak economies.
North America saw a less dramatic decline compared to other large markets, specifically Western Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. The North American market was buoyed by increases in home improvement projects in the US during 2020.
In 2021, global furniture laminates demand is projected to rise at nearly the same rate as it fell in 2020, boosted by rebounding construction and manufacturing activity.
While the hardest hit regional markets in 2020 – Central and South America and Western Europe – will post faster growth in 2021, the world-leading Asia/Pacific market will rebound from 2020 declines at a double-digit pace in 2021, as 2020 dips in furniture production are projected to reverse course in 2021.
The much smaller Africa/Mideast and East European markets are the only other regions expected to fully recover from 2020 declines in 2021, bolstered by increasing foreign investment in furniture manufacturing capacity in these regions.
In North America, sales will be boosted by commercial building reopenings and reductions in remote work rates as the pandemic recedes. Additionally, home improvement activity in the US is expected to moderate but remain elevated in 2021, supporting furniture sales.
Going forward, global demand for furniture laminates is expected to rebound through 2024, as the global construction and manufacturing markets continue to recover from the significant 2020 decline.
Demand by Region
In 2019, the Asia/Pacific region was the largest regional furniture market for decorative laminates, accounting for 66% of global demand. The region is expected to achieve above average gains, driven by increasing ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture production in China, the largest global producer of this product. RTA furniture production will be promoted by continued growth in building construction activity within the region and strong export opportunities.
Western Europe is the second largest furniture market for decorative laminates, accounting for 15% of the global total in 2019. Germany and France are the leading producing countries of ready-to-assemble furniture in Western Europe. However, the region is expected to experience a decline in the furniture market because of a weak outlook for furniture production.
Demand by Type
The furniture market for decorative laminates is forecast to increase 3.0% annually to 5.4 billion square meters in 2024:
Growth will be driven by continued expansion of the global ready-to-assemble furniture industry, the main use of laminates in the furniture market.
Decorative laminates will gain market share over alternative surfacing materials, such as wood veneer and paints and coatings. Decorative laminates represent an economical, durable, efficient, and versatile alternative to these alternative materials.
Low-pressure laminates – led by saturated paper – will remain the leading laminate type used in the global furniture market, accounting for 75% of demand in 2024. These laminates are widely used in RTA and other budget furniture applications due to their low cost and durability, as well as ongoing advances in printing technology that improve their aesthetics.
Higher value, high-pressure laminates are expected to register faster growth through 2024 due to their superior aesthetics and performance, and increase their share of the market slightly compared to 2019. Nevertheless, these laminates will continue to face intense competition from lower-cost saturated paper and other low-pressure laminates.
Global demand for furniture laminates is forecast to increase 3.0% per year to 5.4 billion square meters valued at $25.6 billion in 2024. Going forward, market advances will be supported by:
increasing global demand for ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture, the main use for laminates in the furniture market
the continued improvement in textures and in printing techniques that create advanced graphics rivaling the aesthetics of natural materials
rising personal incomes, expanding the number of consumers able to afford furniture, especially in developing countries
increased market penetration of decorative laminates at the expense of other surfacing materials (wood veneer and paint) in furniture applications due to cost and performance benefits
Furniture Laminates Sales to Rebound in 2021 Following Pandemic-Induced Declines of 2020
Among the major global decorative laminates markets, the furniture market was the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with output declines resulting from:
suspension of “nonessential” furniture manufacturing and supply chain issues when facilities came back online
closure and downsizing of many offices, restricting need for new and replacement furniture purchases in office settings
economic uncertainty causing consumers to delay large-ticket purchases, such as furniture
In 2021, global furniture laminates demand is projected to rise at nearly the same rate as it fell in 2020, boosted by rebounding building construction and furniture manufacturing activity as COVID-19 vaccination rates expand and the lingering effects of the pandemic on these sectors recede.
Asia/Pacific Region Expected To Account for 90% of Global Market Gains Through 2024
The Asia/Pacific region – by far the largest regional market for furniture laminates – is expected to account for 90% of global market gains through 2024, driven by increasing ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture production in China, the largest global producer of this product. RTA furniture production will be promoted by continued growth in building construction activity within the region and by strong export opportunities.
Leading West European Producers Continue to Expand Developing-World Capacity
Western Europe is the second leading global market for furniture laminates due to its large RTA furniture industry, but the markets in this area are beginning to mature. As a result, RTA furniture producers located in the region are shifting production to countries with lower manufacturing costs in Eastern Europe (particularly Poland) and the Asia/Pacific region. Thus, although Western Europe’s position in the overall global furniture laminates market will remain large, its share of the global total will continue to slide through 2024.