|Forum topic by SteveMI||posted 04-20-2010 03:16 AM||919 views||0 times favorited||3 replies|
04-20-2010 03:16 AM
Darn China workers want a real wage and China Government isn’t propping up the shipping charges or raw material.
[some excepts, more at website]
One big factor driving furniture prices is the rising cost of shipping from Asia to the United States.
Last month, the Federal Maritime Commission, whose mission includes protecting U.S. maritime commerce from unfair foreign trade practices, started investigating whether a surge in shipping fees could strangle the budding U.S. economic recovery. The average price of shipping a standard 40-foot container from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, for example, jumped 61 percent in the first week of April compared with the same time last year, according to data from London-based Drewry Shipping Consultants.
Another culprit is that more than two-thirds of the wood pieces sold in the U.S. are made abroad, and rising living standards in China and Vietnam are bidding up factory wages, said Rob Sligh, chairman of Sligh Furniture.
Producers including Ashley Furniture Industries, Sligh Furniture Co., and Portico Chair Co. are pushing ahead with price hikes matching or topping the inflation rate of at least 2 percent.
Furniture prices have almost universally stayed static or dropped since the recession began in December 2007 as the industry struggled to stay competitive.
Charlotte-based Portico Chair just raised the price of its wooden rockers, made from domestic lumber with some parts imported from Indonesia, President Grady Peterson said. A replica of one chair President John F. Kennedy used in the White House now costs $225 after 14 years at $199, he said.