The Indian wood industry is showing strong interest in Swedish pine, particularly for furniture and joinery. Indian architects and designers are also proving inquisitive about the versatile and sustainable material. This was what industry organisation Swedish Wood discovered from its participation in the India Wood trade show alongside nine Swedish sawmill companies.
India Wood was held on 8–12 March 2018 in Bangalore, southern India. There was strong interest in the Swedish softwoods, particularly pine, from visitors who mainly comprised representatives of Indian furniture and joinery companies, wood importers and, to a lesser extent, interior designers, architects and furniture designers.
“The signals we received from the Indian furniture market at the trade show is that the younger generation are showing an interest in softwood furniture that is relatively light, feels modern and is easy to transport when moving house, for example,” says Charlotte Dedye Apelgren, Director of Interior and Design at Swedish Wood.
At the trade show, Swedish Wood also signed a joint project agreement with Indian state training body the Furniture & Fitting Skill Council (FFSC). Under the agreement, Swedish Wood will help to spread knowledge in India about how to work industrially with softwood in the manufacture of furniture and joinery products.
“The FFSC sees a considerable need for training in the furniture industry in India, and as the Swedish sawmill industry increases its exports of softwood to the country, it is important to also drive up expertise in the furniture and joinery industry on how best to work with the material,” explains Charlotte Dedye Apelgren.
Swedish exports of sawn wood products to India are currently quite modest, but they are growing rapidly. Last year, Sweden exported 27,000 cubic metres of sawn softwood worth around SEK 50 million (6 million USD). That represents a 35 percent increase compared with 2016. The volume of exports has more than trebled since 2013, when exports of sawn wood products from Sweden to India began to pick up.
Sweden is the fifth largest country for softwood exports to India, after competitors such as Germany and Canada, and the country that has seen the greatest increase in exports in recent years. The Swedish sawmill industry sees India as a priority market for the future, and exports to India from Sweden are expected to continue growing.
About Swedish exports of sawn wood products
Swedish production of sawn and planed wood products totals 18 million cubic metres, of which 13 million is exported, representing an export value of SEK 27 billion (3,2 billion USD). Sweden is thus the world’s third largest exporter of sawn wood products, by volume. Sweden exports mainly to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
About Swedish Wood’s participation in the India Wood trade show
Swedish Wood was joined at the trade show by the following nine Swedish sawmill companies: Holmen Timber, Martinsons, Moelven, Norra Timber, Norrskog Wood Products, SCA Timber, Setra Group, Siljan Timber and Södra.
Swedish Wood’s stand displayed samples of Swedish sawn pine and spruce, examples of products for interiors and construction, plus pine surface samples showing different types of surface treatment. The seating and tables on the stand were designed by a Swedish designer and manufactured in India using Swedish pine.
Swedish Wood also took part in the Timber Forum seminar that was organised by the trade show. Its presentation included examples of how Swedish wood is used in modern design and architecture, as well as the technical properties of Swedish softwood.