The start of the New Year is always a tough period for double glazing companies. Leads are slow, as are sales. Wages still have to be paid, bills and overheads still have to be paid. As much money goes out as it goes in for some. The last thing then the industry needs is price increases.

Unfortunately this is what looks set to happen. The price of oil has shot up in recent weeks, causing the cost of petrol and diesel to rise to near record highs. Not good news for manufacturers as their transport costs are already high enough. A high oil price also means a higher polymer price, affecting the overall cost of the PVCu we use. 

Glass prices have risen steeply this year, and I see no reason why they won’t carry on rising throughout next year. The recent Planitherm shortage may have a hand in it. There is speculation the shortage was deliberate, giving manufacturers a platform in which they could raise their prices if they wanted to. But that is speculation of course!

Polycarbonate prices also look set to rise. With transport costs going up as well as raw material costs rising too, polycarbonate roof sheets are set to become more costly yet.

And then we all know about the new 20% VAT as of January 4th. All this wouldn’t be so bad. But the Government’s spending cuts are due to kick in this month. People are going to find out if they are losing their job or not, spending will fall compared to this year and economic growth is due to slow next year according to experts. 

Early 2011 could be quite a tough trading period for the double glazing industry.