Mexico is the main exporter in Latin America of furniture such as chairs, seats and armchairs, but about 67% of the wood used to manufacture it is imported. This despite the fact that we have the qualified raw material.
According to the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), approximately 27 million cubic meters of roundwood are consumed annually in Mexico, but of those 27 million, only 9 million are produced locally.
This indicates that almost 67% is wood that comes from abroad. The forestry sector has imported during the last six years, forest timber products –including cellulose and paper– for a value of 9,405 million dollars, mainly from the United States (43%), Brazil (13%) and Chile (12%).
This wood arrives in Mexico and is used to make interior furniture such as chairs, seats, armchairs, among others.
Large foreign and Mexican companies in the sector have seen a great opportunity in Mexico and this has attracted large investments to the country.
Such is the case of the Chinese furniture company Kuka Home, a manufacturer of beds, sofas, chairs and mattresses, which invested around 100 million dollars in an upholstery manufacturing plant in Salinas Victoria, Nuevo León.
Kuka Home currently produces in five factories located in China and synergizes with more than 10 design teams from Italy, the United States, Germany, Great Britain and France.
Another company is SUNON, which invested 50 million dollars in its operation in Nuevo León. They manufacture office furniture, have more than 800 patents, recognized design awards and a marketing network in more than 108 countries.
The Canadian furniture upholstery firm Palliser also made an investment to expand its plant in Coahuila to double its production and increase its exports to the European market, where it places its products in countries such as France, Germany and England.
What is IMMEX and how does it benefit foreign furniture companies?
In Mexico there is an export promotion program exclusively for foreign manufacturers to be exempt from general import taxes, value added taxes (VAT) and countervailing duties.
By its acronym IMMEX refers to the Manufacturing, Maquiladora and Export Service Industry. This allows them to import raw materials and components to Mexico to be manufactured, transformed or fixed.
It is especially aimed at legal entities and has several modalities: Industrial: Includes all manufacturing factories.
Shelter: The national factory participates in the production chain of a company and the final product is returned exclusively to the same foreign company.
Services: Companies dedicated to providing services to other companies, for example, cleaning, operation, maintenance, etc.
Outsourcing: Certified companies that do not have facilities to carry out production processes and then carry out manufacturing operations through third parties.
In terms of exports, Mexico exported 2,875 million dollars in the last six years, mainly to our neighboring country, the United States (94%), Canada (1%), China (1%) and Italy (1%).