Recent reports indicate that the price of foam is on the rise – increasing as much as 22 percent, according to some estimates. Experts say that a shortage in toluene disocyanate (TDI) – a chemical used to manufacture the type of foam commonly found in car seats and household furniture – is to blame.
Furniture Today explains:
[T]he foam price hikes are coming in the wake of shortages of key chemicals used in foam production, shortages that are expected to lessen in the months to come, when foam prices could moderate, but still remain at a higher level than they were earlier this year. […]
Meanwhile, upholstery producers are worried about the pressure they’re going to get from retailers to hold the line.
Dan White, president of midpriced upholstery maker Norwalk, said the past 18 months have seen a seesaw of price escalations and rollbacks in foam, and is heading up in double digits now. […]
Jim Wiygul, owner of Independent Furniture Supply, a foam fabricator in Tupelo, said that chemical prices rise periodically, “but this is the worst since (Hurricane) Katrina.”
He said foamers are expecting price increases of 17% to 22% due to shortages of the chemical TDI (toluene disocyanate), a derivative of oil. “My customers get sick and tired of hearing this statement but the reality of it is, just go to the gas pump and it’s the same thing.” [more]
Plan Accordingly: Auto upholstery shops that go through a lot of foam may want to consider increasing their next order before prices sky rocket. Purchasing enough foam a fair price now may enable you to ride out the storm without having to mark up prices on customers later.