Sunday, December 04, 2005

Pillow Manufacturers Pummeled by Costs

New York - In the wake of escalating transportation and petroleum-based raw material costs for poly fiber, vinyl and chemicals needed to create foam, U.S. pillow producers remain convinced price increases will be inevitable in the first quarter of '06.

"Chemical prices continue to batter all of us," said Lonnie Scheps, vice president of sales and marketing at Hudson Industries. "The greatest impact we've ever seen in the history of this classification has been taking place in the last six months. Virtually every chemical manufacturer supplying polyester and urethane foam technologies has announced no less than three increases in the last three months."

Joe Blazar, director of marketing-consumer products for Leggett & Platt's urethane division, recalled, "We saw one increase per month between October 2004 and April 2005 for chemicals used in pouring foam - basically a 30 percent total price increase." He said the increases flattened out in late spring but started up again in late August.

"Hurricane Katrina will continue to have a negative impact on the supply as local manufacturers ability to produce was interrupted," he stated.