Qingdao International Furniture Fair: Canadian Hemlock Spurs Increased Interest in Local Industry

By: Lance Tao

Export Development Program, Canada Wood Group

At the 20th Qingdao International Furniture Fair (QIFF) held from May 18-21, 2023, Canada Wood China (CW China) took an active part to promote the usage of Canadian wood species in the Chinese furniture industry. The fair, attended by over 1,200 home furnishing enterprises and 153,078 visitors, served as an ideal platform for CW China to broaden its audience and stimulate interest in Canadian wood.

In a strategic partnership with the Shanghai Wood Industry Association, CW China showcased samples of Canadian Western hemlock at the fair, also distributing promotional materials to endorse the Canadian Hemlock branding campaign. This move was directed towards sparking curiosity and awareness among the attendees about the distinctive qualities and applications of Canadian hemlock, thus effectively expanding its target reach in North China.

The fair was particularly beneficial for CW China’s endeavor to encourage the use of Canadian wood in China’s reviving furniture manufacturing sector. Post-fair, this effort was reflected when Qingdao Red Cedar Wood Company, a local manufacturer, reached out to CW China. They were interested in learning more about CW China’s resources and exploring wood manufacturing. Notably, this company had recently begun using Canadian hemlock instead of white ash to construct sofa frames for Korea and mobile wood doors for Japan, expressing satisfaction with the finished products due to hemlock’s superior working properties and beneficial machining attributes. Consequently, CW China was invited to visit their factory in Qingdao, underlining the successful promotion and acceptance of Canadian wood species.

Sofa Frame Made with Canadian Hemlock
Sofa Frame Made with Canadian Hemlock

This progression comes at a time when China’s furniture retail sales have seen a 3.5% year-on-year increase, reaching about 363.7 billion yuan in the first quarter of 2023. However, a 5.8% year-on-year decline was noticed in the total value of Chinese furniture and related product exports during the same period, marking a robust recovery of the domestic furniture market while international demand remains subdued. Therefore, this scenario highlights the importance and effectiveness of CW China’s participation in the fair, driving forward the promotion and use of Canadian wood in the local furniture-making industry.