The EPLF "home market" of Western Europe fell slightly in 2019, although important Western European countries are currently already reporting positive figures. Eastern Europe also delivered strong figures, while overseas sales experienced a setback.
Slight decline in Western Europe
In Western Europe (including Turkey), total sales in 2019 reached 219 million m² (225 million m² in 2018). This represents a decline of 2.1 percent compared to the previous year. Germany remains by far the most important single market in Central Europe with 50 million m² (52 million m² in 2018). However, the setback is slowing down compared to previous years with a reduction of 5.0 percent.
France remains second in Europe, improving by 1.1 percent in 2019 to 36.5 million m² (36.0 million m² in 2018). A positive trend for EPLF members can be seen in Great Britain: at 32.6 million m² in 2019 (29.8 million m² in 2018), the dent in the previous year's figure was offset by an increase of 9.5 percent. The country thus continues to rank third in Western European sales ahead of the Netherlands, where association sales in 2019 improved by 1.4 percent to 18.6 million m² (18.3 million in 2018). Spain also reported positive developments: sales figures for laminate flooring increased by 1.4 percent to 16.7 million m² (16.5 million m² in 2018).
Strong growth in Eastern Europe
A clear upward trend is evident in Eastern Europe. The region confirms its role as an important future market for EPLF manufacturers. With 135 million m² (128 million m² in 2018), the European laminate flooring manufacturers achieved a good result there in 2019. EPLF members in Russia reported 43.8 million m² (39 million m² in 2018), which corresponds to a growth rate of 11.4 percent. Poland improved by 6.1 percent to 31.2 million m² (29.5 million m² in 2018). The Ukraine is developing into the "rising star" in Eastern Europe: with 10.1 million m², the country moved into third place in the region (+ 32.5 percent compared to the previous year with 7.6 million m²). Romania and Hungary are behind with 10 million m² (11 million m² in 2018) and 7 million m² (- 2.4 percent in comparison to 2018).
Significant setback in Canada
After a boom in the USA, North America has returned to a normal level, slowed down by a double-digit reduction in Canada.
In 2019, a total of 40 million m² (44.3 million m² in 2018) were sold in North America, around 9.6 percent less than in the previous year. The USA showed a slight setback of 3.2 percent in 2019 with around 29.7 million m² (30.7 million m² in 2018), in Canada only close to 10.3 million m² (previous year 13.6 million m²) were registered in 2019, which means a decline of 24.7 percent.
Slowdown in Asia
The smaller export regions showed signs of the slowdown in world trade. Asia fell by 6 percent from 30 million m² to 28.2 million m² - with the positive exception of the Central Asian republics: Kazakhstan stabilised at the comparatively high level of 4 million m² with a small increase of 0.1 percent. Latin America declined from 18.5 million m² in 2018 to 15.7 million m² in 2019 (-15.2 percent). Africa was also unable to continue the positive trend of previous years. The total sales volume of the various export markets from the north to the south of the continent fell slightly from 5.0 million m² in 2018 to 4.9 million m², which corresponds to a decline of 2.1 percent.