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Hi all,

Big news out of China this week.

The Chinese government has officially removed the 18% fuel subsidies well before analysts had anticipated (see an LA Times article here for more info). While this is expected to lower the consumer demand in China, thereby improving the global cost of crude oil, it has already begun to adversely effect the pricing of hardwood floors produced in this country.

My coworker in China has already reported being inundated with warnings of hardwood price increases. Our best estimate at the moment is somewhere between 5-10%. This price increase will affect factory direct buyers immediately, and DIYers too once distributors current stock in North America dries up.

Something to keep an eye on: As manufacturing and transportation costs increase as a result of rising cost of fuel, North American goods should become more cost competitive.

How have rising fuel costs affected your livelihood?

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Matt Dickinson