UK: Furniture prices surge as Ukraine conflict drives up timber cost

UK: Furniture prices surge as Ukraine conflict drives up timber cost

by Sakina Raj

Shoppers in the UK are reportedly being warned that the cost of new furniture, such as sofas, is set to rise with the increasing cost of major materials like timber due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

Sean Holt, the Managing Director of trade body British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM), said that this was the first time the industry was witnessing an across-the-board increase in the price of materials.

With higher furniture prices, living costs in the UK are pushing up higher as inflation in the country reaches a 30-year high at 7%. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is also putting more pressure on the country’s furniture manufacturers who were sourcing timber from Russia.

Holt stated that even though the industry had been registering increases in the cost of materials over the last two years, the situation escalated abruptly in recent weeks, with members of the trade body expecting further increases in prices in the coming months.

Around the end of 2021, Ikea, the biggest furniture retailer in the UK, hiked its prices to cushion the significant increase in costs of raw materials, logistics, and transport among others caused by the pandemic.

Ian Oscroft, Nottinghamshire furniture maker Whitemeadow’s managing director, stated that the cost of making one of its sofas has gone up by 25% following Brexit. He said that the furniture industry witnessed extreme costs of raw materials in the last two years during the pandemic and expected it to be over in 2022. But due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, prices aggravated further as timber is sourced mostly from Eastern European forests.

Oscroft added that while the business did not pass on a 25% increase to customers, many others, including himself, had to pass some of it in order to continue working.

The Forest Stewardship Council suspended Russia and Belarus’ trading certificates, banning imports from their forests. However, it has indirectly put pressure on other nations that export timber and caused the prices of timber and other raw materials to surge.

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Sakina Raj

Armed with a degree in English Literature, Sakina chose to explore the world of content writing and pursue it as a career. Sakina has been playing with words for over five years now and currently pens down articles for Marketprimes and various other online portals relating to diverse domains. Whe Read more...