According to the data of the Machinery Exporters’ Association (MAİB) Turkey broke a record with exports of 110 million 112 thousand 234 dollars in 6 woodworking machinery sectors in 2020.
AİMSAD Chairman of the Board Mustafa Erol stated as follows; “One of the biggest reasons for the increase in exports is the own way of marketing of the companies. The companies applied the right strategy by self-evaluations due to reasons such as the absence of fairs and travel restrictions.’’
In 2020, when the global epidemic Coronavirus which influenced Turkey as it did all the world, emerged, the woodworking machinery (WM) industry broke an export record. According to the data of the Machinery Exporters Association (MAİB), the woodworking machinery sector exported 110 million 112 thousand 234 dollars in 12 months of 2020. In 2019, this figure was 98 million 16 thousand 644 dollars, and in 2018 it was 102 million 510 thousand 492. Accordingly, the sector’s exports have achieved the highest growth rate since 2018 with 12 percent. In accordance with the monthly data of the Turkey Statistics Institute (TSI), the industry’s export is around 20-21 million dollars in November. This situation shows that November has a significant share in the increase in exports. The top 5 export countries in November were Russia with 9 million 550 thousand 800 dollars, Iraq with 868 thousand 188 dollars, Bulgaria with 559 thousand 217 dollars, the United Kingdom with 546 thousand 612 dollars, and Algeria with 529 thousand 175 dollars. In 2019, Russia was the third most exported country with 3 million 954 thousand 892 dollars. As it can be seen from the mentioned data, the most important reason for the increase in exports is that the amount of exports to Russia in November is much higher than in other months.
“Exports to Russia increased 365 percent in 1 year”
Evaluating that the woodworking machinery industry broke an export record during the pandemic period, AIMSAD Board of Directors Chairman Mustafa Sabri Erol said, “Since the 12-month foreign trade data of TSI has not been published yet, I have to answer according to 11-month figures. First of all, the total export to Russia at the end of the 11 months of 2020 is 13.4 million dollars. We see that our exports to Russia increased 365 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. The ratio of exports worth 9.5 million dollars made only in November to the total exports made for 11 months was 70 percent. Since 2020 data have not been disclosed in international sources yet, I can say that Russia’s total import of woodworking machines was 300 million dollars at the end of 2019. According to the export figures for the end of 2019, Turkey took a share of about 1 percent. In 2020, the most exported products at the end of 11 months are machines that perform various machine operations without changing tools with 10 million dollars, saw machines with 1.5 million dollars, and other machines with 890 thousand dollars.” And Erol continues his words as follows: ”On the other hand, when the furniture sector reports of the Ministry of Trade are examined, we see that Russia is neither an exporter nor an importer country in terms of furniture. A country with a population of 145 million, I think there is the only production for its own domestic consumption. Also, Russia is one of the largest logging countries. Therefore, the export of logs, which is the most valuable product for the raw material rather than the completed product, plays an important role for Russia in the wood industry ”.
‘Furniture investments increased in the pandemic’
Stating that during the pandemic period, furniture investments increased not only in Russia but also in many countries, Erol continued as follows: “Because people spent most of their time in their homes during the pandemic and started using their furniture more. Of course, this caused them to change uncomfortable and non-ergonomic furniture.
‘Industry firms implemented the right strategy’
Reminding that in 2020, despite the pandemic, the Woodtech Fair was held in October by taking all health measures, Mustafa Erol pointed out that this situation may have an effect on the increase in exports in October and November, but sector companies did not participate in any fairs other than domestic/international Woodtech in 2020. Stating that one of the biggest reasons for the increase in exports is the own way of marketing of the companies, Erol stated that the companies applied a correct strategy by making self-evaluations due to reasons such as the absence of fairs and restrictions on travel.
Record export; the motivation for digitalization
Noting that as AIMSAD, they could not promote in 2020 other than digital activities, Erol, also stated that in 2020, they reap the benefit of promotions made in the past. Mentioning the www.turkishwoodworkingmachinery.com portal, which they launched in May 2020, Erol stated that the number of visitors to the portal increased and became known each day. Explaining that they plan to prepare the 2021 member catalogue together with this portal in a hybrid manner as the association, Erol also stated that they will direct the visitors who do not want to carry catalogues to the portal with QR codes and short links. Stating that the pandemic and the export record in 2020 will create a motivation for digitalization in the sector, Mustafa Erol also indicated that there is a motivation to increase marketing and advertising activities and to complete the processes of branding and institutionalization.
‘Some of our members-only work for export’
Noting that there are continuous improvements in the WM sector as in every sector, Erol continued his words as follows: “Today, some of our members, only work for export, some of them only make project-based products and have orders for almost 6-7 months, and some of them become brands abroad by partnering with foreign companies. We can see that it is coming or has the potential to come. Our country has become not only in the WM sector, but also in many industries, not just applying technology, but producing. Therefore, it is possible to say that the WM sector has kept pace with this trend. “
Mustafa Erol’s prediction came true
According to the evaluation of AIMSAD President Mustafa Erol in AIMSAD Magazine last year, the industry will close 2020 with 2019 figures, despite the pandemic, with the arrival of winter months, the furniture industry will become active and this will increase the woodworking machines, and he expected an increase of 10-15 percent in production and exports in 2021.
Erol pointed out that the pandemic actually served the furniture industry, and explained it as follows; “Because people did a lot of things at home. This has created a supply to spend a lot of time at home. Uncomfortable furniture has been replaced with comfort. I think this situation will increase more all over the world in 2021 and the furniture industry will be more positively affected. For this reason, there will only be a yield in terms of production in woodworking machines “
Conveying that they have an export expectation of 95-100 million dollars in 2020, Mustafa Erol continued his words as follows; “Currently, the ratio of exports to imports has increased. I believe it will increase even more and reach 250 percent. In winter conditions, people will stay at home and change furniture. One of the most important reasons for closing 2020 in this way is that Turkey is being the only country that performs the machine fair. It helped a lot. It is the reason for the state of export.