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In the German furniture industry, the supply situation for important supplier products is worsening. In a current association survey, around 70 percent of the furniture manufacturers surveyed stated that material availability in May 2021 deteriorated again compared to the previous month. 

“In the meantime, production is restricted in around half of the companies due to material shortages, and production days have often been omitted,” says Jan Kurth, Managing Director of the German Furniture Industry Associations (VDM / VHK), based on the survey.

The delivery bottlenecks increased across almost all raw materials in May. Metal parts, fittings and functional elements are currently hardest hit. With regard to these product groups, almost 80 percent of the survey participants complain about shortages. Around 70 percent of companies report a tense supply situation for chipboard. There are also massive bottlenecks in MDF and HDF boards, upholstery foams, electronic components and packaging materials. Fabric and leather covers are also scarce.

The price development for important preliminary products intensified further in the course of the second quarter of 2021. The price of chipboard, upholstery foam, packaging materials and metal parts, fittings and functional elements rose the most in comparison to the first quarter of 2021, as the survey shows. Furniture manufacturers have been announced further price increases for the third quarter of 2021. “Unfortunately, there is no easing in sight on the procurement side for the time being,” says Kurth. “The strong and rapid price increases for supplier products put our industry under enormous pressure and change the calculation basis considerably.”

The situation is also tense with the manufacturers of solid wood furniture, as VDM / VHK statistics manager Christian Langwald reports on the basis of another survey. Almost 60 percent of the companies criticize that the contractually agreed delivery times are not adhered to by the suppliers. Solid wood furniture suppliers complain about price increases, especially in the case of oak. But also beech, walnut and softwoods were more expensive than in the previous year.

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