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Head of Romania's Wood Businesses Community warns of evolving crisis in wood and furniture industry

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Romania's wood and furniture industry are in an ongoing state of crisis, Catalin Tobescu, president of the Wood Businesses Community - Fordaq, told the Forests, Wood Industry and Green Economy Forum on Thursday.

"Many entrepreneurs want to quit the wood and furniture business. This should set us thinking. According to information provided by the National Institute of Statistics, there was an 8 percent decrease this year in the furniture industry, and a 5 percent decline in the primary wood products industry. There is an upward trend for furniture imports, an increase in timber imports, a very steep increase in imports of round wood. ... Beyond the somewhat artificial debates in the public space, a state has set in in the sector that I wouldn't shy away from calling a crisis, and it's evolving," said Tobescu.

According to data released in November by the Romanian Furniture Manufacturers Association (APMR), the domestic furniture output stands at 2.5 billion euros per year, and is mainly export-bound, as 86 thereof is sold abroad.

In terms of exports, the Romanian furniture industry ranks 11th in the world and 5th in the EU, and the main destinations of the Romanian furniture exports are, in order, Germany, France, Italy, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Hungary, the USA, Switzerland and the Russian Federation, APMR said.

Figures also show that the margin between export and import prices has almost doubled, increasing from 15.5 percent in 2016 to 28.4 percent in 2018.

Romanian furniture manufacturers have warned that they reserve the right to take legal action against any attempt to defame this sector, regardless of whether it comes from NGO representatives or journalists who don't cross-check, as deontology requires.

Romanian forest owners and managers, furniture producers, environmental organizations, foresters' associations and representatives of state institutions participate on Thursday in the third Forests, Wood Industry and Green Economy Forum.

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