Foam Shortage Affects RV, Other Industries

Another product shortage is proving to be a literal pain in the backside for consumers, and this one is affecting multiple industries.

Foam is in short supply nationwide, causing delayed deliveries for a myriad of products made with the padding, including furniture, mattresses, vehicles, boats, RVs and appliances, USA Today reported. It has also backlogged the building construction and steelmaking industries, the news outlet said.

Foam, which is used in everything from seats and upholstery to insulation and molds for casting steel, began running short in February. This is when five plants in the U.S. shut down due to the harsh winter storms that swept the South. The plants – four in Texas and one in Louisiana – produce propylene oxide, the main chemical used to make foam.

According to USA Today, the plants were only temporarily closed for a few days, but it took weeks to get back up to full production as flooding and power outages damaged equipment, which were operating at 120 percent capacity to meet consumer demand.

Chemical plants have yet to catch up as consumer demand remains strong for furniture, RVs, boats and cars. Consumers are waiting months for new products in these categories and shipment delays stretched from 30 days up to a year.

“This has put everything in disarray,” Zachary Moore, editor and analyst for Independence Commodity Intelligence Services, a petrochemical research firm, told the news outlet.

To read the full report from Dawn Geske at International Business Times click here.

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