British retailers and importers bought less upholstery from overseas in February with China — the biggest source nation — behind much of the fall.


Sofa and sofabed imports totalled £55.9 million for the month, down 8.0 percent against February 2017.

The HMRC data, compiled by The Furnishing Report, shows Chinese upholstery imports were 12 percent off last year's total, at £24.1 million.

Polish sofa imports were flat* at around £12.1 million with Italian exports to Britain going well, up 27 percent to £8.6 million.

Sofa imports in the first two months of 2018 totalled £112.6 million, down 2.7 percent on the same period a year earlier.

* FR estimate. HMRC recorded Polish imports up 96 percent, but this is believed to be the result of around £7m of imports of Polish-made goods in Feb. 2017 being allocated to Belgium instead of Poland, possibly because of how they were routed. This doesn't alter the total sofa import data.

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