Unstable Oil Prices Affecting Many Industries from Airlines to Upholstery


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Airlines sure. But upholstery? Hmmmm…Oil prices can affect a larger part of the economy than is usually thought of. The reality is that a large part of manufacturing (such as plastics) rely on petrochemicals to actually make their products. Upholstery is one of these industries. Many furniture manufacturers are seeing across the board increases in foam costs which are a primary raw material needed in the manufacturing of upholstery fabrics.

To some people, it sounds like a repeat of the 1970s. The stock market fluctuations, the lines for gasoline (which, thankfully have abated for now), and the slow influx of alternative energy solutions make it seem like we are in a time warp. However, a lot of industries can’t switch from petrochemicals even if the alternatives’ technology was far more advanced.

Industries that are staples of the economy, such as injection molding, use oil based raw materials as inputs to make common industrial items that are needed around the economy. You can’t make a solar panel into a box of garbage bags. And you can’t add hydrogen to a manufacturing process to come out with a brand new pair of sneakers.

With oil prices now down from their close to $70 mark, a lot people are wondering in which direction oil prices could go in the near future. Could it cost $50 to fill up your car or is your heating bill this winter possibly headed for triple digits? Anything is possible at this point. But, the price of everyday items might increase too.

Basically, airlines need expensive fuel to run their aircraft, but a lot of people don’t realize that petrochemicals play a huge part in manufacturing too. And these companies need oil to make their products: no matter what the cost.

David nelson is a contributing author at http://www.theupholsteryguide.com . The Upholstery Guide has upholstery and upholstery fabric information.


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