Umbrella Market - China Has a Strong Foothold in the Global Umbrella Trade

Furniture July 19, 2015
Author: Olga Minchina
Account Manager

umbrella market

China dominates in global production on the umbrella market. In 2013, China exported 85.6% of its total umbrella output. Of this amount, 11% was supplied to Japan, where Chinese umbrellas held the dominant share of total Japanese consumption and were partly re-imported.

In 2013, Japan (12.6%), the U.S. (11.5%), Brazil (9.8%), Italy (4.7%) and Germany (4.6%) were the leading destinations of umbrella imports, together making up 39% of global imports in physical terms. And while the share of Japan increased significantly, the share of the U.S. illustrated negative dynamics. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In 2013, China was the main global supplier of umbrellas with a 92% share of global exports. However, the fastest growing suppliers from 2007 to 2013 were Belgium (+37% per year) and Germany (+23% per year). Despite being the largest global producers of umbrellas, India and the U.S. did not export much of their production, meaning that it was domestically consumed.

The word umbrella derives from the Latin word "umbra," meaning "shade". It was first mentioned in Ancient Egypt over three thousand years ago as an umbrella protecting from the sun, a parasol. The initial construction of a parasol was extremely simple: palm leaves attached to a stick. Back then, parasols were used exclusively by royalty and nobility. It was only from the beginning of the 18th century that umbrellas made their way into everyday life. Nowadays, umbrellas are regarded as a common item, found in every household and in every purse on a rainy day.

At present, umbrella production is predominantly concentrated in China. Manufacturing an umbrella consists of assembling its key components, namely a canopy, ribs, stretchers, a runner and a shaft. The finished product is supposed to be lightweight, long-lasting and easy to use.
Over the ages, the fabrication of canopies has undergone dramatic changes; linen and cotton in the past to the microfiber fabrics used today. Since constant opening and closing requires movement, a canopy cannot consist of a single piece of fabric, thus it is made from several (usually eight) pieces stitched together.

Responsible for opening and closing the canopy, the ribs and stretchers maintain the canopy's integrity. They are generally made from steel, with a stretcher linked to the shaft with a runner (a plastic connector). The shaft is most often made from wood, steel or aluminum and fiberglass. Collapsible umbrellas have a moveable shaft that can telescope into adjustable lengths.

As fast moving consumer goods, low-end umbrellas enjoy the highest demand around the world. High-end women's fashion forward umbrellas, in turn, are only now gaining in popularity. Likewise, luxury golf umbrellas and outdoor picnic umbrellas are favored by high-income families. Owing to fashionable headwear, protection from the sun by parasols, meanwhile, is gradually fading out of fashion.

Do you want to know more about the global umbrella market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • umbrella market share
  • umbrella prices
  • umbrella industry
  • umbrella sales
  • umbrella market forecast
  • umbrella¬†price¬†forecast
  • key umbrella producers

Source: World: Umbrellas - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2020