The British furniture industry is facing unprecedented increases in the cost of key raw materials, says the British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) association, which reveals that sharp rises are being felt across its membership.
Polyurethane foam, which was the subject of product shortages in late 2020, is now only available at a record price, while the cost of most components and materials used in furnituremaking – including springs, mechanisms, fabrics and board materials, as well as materials such as feathers and fibres and packaging goods - are also intensifying.
Furniture manufacturers are further impacted by the national shipping crisis, as a backlog at some UK ports, coupled with a shortage globally on containers, is leading to container prices now standing four-to-five times higher than 12 months ago.
BFM MD Nick Garratt says: “The furniture industry is facing unprecedented price increases in the key materials used in the manufacture of goods. The trend started in Q4 last year, predominantly with foam, but in recent weeks the situation has escalated.
“We have written to those in the supply chain to build a clear picture of the issue. Our objective is to understand and assure our members when we can get back to normality and previous prices.”
BFM member Mike Aramayo, the MD of Buoyant Upholstery, comments: “We are being inundated with large price increases from all of our major suppliers. It looks like we will have no choice but to pass some of that cost on.”
A full report and analysis of the current situation will be issued to members in the next few days.