Material bottlenecks in the German furniture industry

Supply situation for important supplier products continues to worsen

In May of this year, material bottlenecks continued to weigh heavily on the German furniture industry. Compared to the previous month, the supply situation for important supplier products has even worsened. In a recent association survey, around 70 percent of the furniture manufacturers surveyed confirmed this. 

Jun 11 2021

Metal parts, fittings and functional elements are currently most affected. With regard to these product groups, almost 80 percent of the survey participants complain about shortages. For chipboard, about 70 percent of the companies report a tight supply situation. There are also massive shortages of MDF and HDF boards, upholstery foams, electronic components and packaging materials. Fabric and leather coverings are also in short supply.

"In the meantime, production has been restricted at about half of the companies due to material shortages, in many cases production days have been cancelled," Jan Kurth, Managing Director of the German Furniture Industry Associations (VDM/VHK), states on the basis of the survey. The price development for important preliminary products also worsened further in the course of the second quarter of 2021. 

Price increases for supplier products

According to the survey, chipboard, upholstery foam, packaging materials as well as metal parts, fittings and functional elements increased the most in price compared to the previous quarter. Further price increases have been announced to furniture manufacturers for the third quarter of 2021. "Unfortunately, there is no relief in sight on the procurement side for the time being," Kurth said. "The strong and rapid price increases for supplier products are putting our industry under enormous pressure and are changing the calculation basis considerably."

The situation is also tense for manufacturers of solid wood furniture, as VDM/VHK statistics manager Christian Langwald reports on the basis of another survey. Almost 60 per cent of the companies criticise that the contractually agreed delivery times are not met by the suppliers. The solid wood furniture suppliers complain about price increases especially for oak. However, beech, walnut and softwoods have also become more expensive compared to the previous year.

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