The British Furniture Manufacturers Association (BFM) is issuing an early warning to the sector on the potential for further foam shortages later this year.

According to the trade body, two major producing plants are planning to carry out planned maintenance in Spring and Summer. A full report and analysis of the situation is due in the monthly BFM Price Report, which is issued to members.

Nick Garratt, MD of the BFM, said: “The TDI market [Toluene Diisocyanate] in Europe was tight throughout much of the second half of 2020, but in December supply began to improve as all three European TDI makers were operational. 

“As markets enter Q2 this year, although stocks will have been built up in advance of the downtimes, with the downtime of two major suppliers there is the potential for short-term tightness to arise and the hope for buyers of foam is that outages do not extend, like last year, beyond the initially planned timeframe.

“Our members, having suffered supply shortages throughout 2020, have worked hard to maintain supply of customer orders in the face of an ongoing supply issue.

“We’ll be keeping a watching brief on the situation and ensuring that members receive timely alerts through our Price Reports, to keep informed of the situation.”