An analysis of hardwood lumber and other wood-based materials use in the wood furniture industry
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U.S. manufacturers of wood household, wood office and upholstered furniture were surveyed to (1) assess wood material use for 1990 and estimate use for 1991, and 1992, and (2) to examine consumer perceptions of certain hardwood lumber and supplier attributes in order to ascertain which are most influential in consumer purchase decisions. This study also provided information about the respondents, RTA and unfinished furniture, and green lumber purchases.
Total 1990 hardwood lumber used in wood furniture was estimated at over 2.4 billion board feet. Use was expected to increase 13% from 1990 to 1992. Softwood lumber used in wood furniture in 1990 was estimated at over 839 million board feet. A 6% increase in softwood lumber use was expected from 1990 to 1992. Red oak was the most commonly used hardwood species and southern pine was the most used softwood. Furniture manufacturers indicated a decrease in particleboard and MDF use, and an increase in hardboard and OSB/softwood plywood use from 1990 to 1992.
Product consistency was the attribute which most influenced the purchase of hardwood lumber, followed by accurate grading, supplier's knowledge of lumber, correct orders, and shipping on time. The least influential attributes were square end trimming, square edges, protective wrapping, end coating and supplier's ability to surface.
Just over 20% of the respondents manufactured Ready-to-Assemble furniture and just over 15% manufactured unfinished furniture. Overall, 26% of respondents purchased green hardwood lumber, most being larger firms. Most firms' purchases of green lumber either have not changed, or have increased, over the last 5 years.
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