• News

Flat pack joinery imports at least 15% of housing market

Foreign flat-pack imports make up approximately 15% of the total household joinery fitted in Australia each year, according to a new study commissioned by Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) to illuminate what was previously a statistical black hole. 

The study to develop reliable data around flat-pack imports was commissioned in response to industry’s experience that high volumes were flooding the domestic market, taking trade away from local businesses, both involved in producing Particleboard and MDF and in the manufacture and installation of joinery items.

Jim Houghton Statistics and Economics Manager of FWPA said that volumes were not larger than expected and the data could potentially alleviate concerns among domestic manufacturers, but that the key research objective was to fill a long-standing and problematic knowledge gap.

“The lack of reliable data relating to this corner of the market had the potential to result in poor business decisions and inefficient planning. We hope this research will equip the industry with the tools it needs to make better informed marketing and production decisions,” he said.

In the past, trade data relating to flat-pack imports had been flawed due to factors including: a lack of available detail around potentially relevant import codes; the majority of imports being measured by value and without volumes or prices; and the wide variety of different products within the category. 

The research was conducted by well-known industry, market and trade consultants, IndustryEdge, using a methodology specifically developed for this project. The methodology can be used in other studies on imported products, where the trade data is less than adequate. In addition, the figures on flat-pack joinery items can be updated over time, to show how the trend of imports is changing.

In arriving at their findings, researchers worked with manufacturers, installers, wholesalers and importers to estimate how much joinery might be used in Housing Industry Association’s ‘standard house’ (shown below), both for new dwellings and properties undergoing renovation.

fig 18

Because not every house is the standard house, these calculations were then scaled using the average sizes of different dwelling types. This gave a figure of 605,466 cubic meters of wood panels/ joinery substrate being fitted in Australia’s household kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and wardrobes and cupboards during the time period.

An example of insights developed in the course of the research is the amount of Particleboard and MDF used in joinery in the different types of new Australian dwellings. The pie chart below shows the aggregate volume of both, for each housing type.

fig 19

It was then calculated that 516,194 cubic meters of that joinery substrate had been produced locally in Australia, leading researchers to determine the remaining 89,272 cubic meters (or 15% of the total) must have been imported. This final calculation was cross-checked with builders, cabinetmakers and industry suppliers.

To read the report Residential Flat-Pack Joinery Import Market Study in full, visit http://www.fwpa.com.au/statistics-count-newsletter/1416-residential-flat-pack-joinery-import-market-study.html 


Posted Date: October 26, 2017

Related Resources

May’s annualised inflation rate a shocker
  • FWPA
  • News

Reported in May, Australia’s annual inflation rate shifted up a gear,…

Housing approvals – finally see some sunshine
  • FWPA
  • News

After declining for the last two years and flattening out in recent mon…

SPOTLIGHT_ WA Where the booms and busts of mining impact the housing sector
  • FWPA
  • News

Western Australia’s economy is driven by the mining industry. That in…