The British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) has boosted its commodity pricing system for foam, with the addition of precise weekly values in euros and GBP.

Due to a shortage of supply and a weaker pound, the price of foam chemicals for UK furniture manufacturers has risen sharply over the last year. The BFM tracks prices and more than this it blends the price of two commonly-used chemicals in foam manufacture to their constituent parts in the end product (TDI one third and Polyol Flexible two thirds). The blended GBP price jumped 6.1% per metric tonne between February and March 2017 alone, and this is one of the most closely-followed commodities on the BFM's list of over 220 different items.

Mike Dimond, the BFM's director of employment and membership affairs, says: "On-going fluctuations in cost, particularly on goods as market sensitive as foam chemicals, have ensured our commodity pricing system is the go-to reference source for members who need to closely monitor the variations. Historically, prices fall as well as rise and our members will be the first to know and this will give them an advantage when prices are quoted by suppliers.

"To further help them understand movements in foam chemicals, we've added spreadsheet data of the weekly values going back to 2006 for Polyol Flexible, Polyol Rigid, TDI and MDI. This will allow many of our upholstery and bed companies to accurately plot costs. Most data in our pricing system is updated on a weekly or monthly basis."