There were some discussion about using 100% natural cork vs. synthetic in the head of a shuttlecock, and one of the reasons given is there is a cork shortage and price increase as a result. To find out, I dug up some information from the net. A cork farm owner was interviewed last year about whether there is a global cork shortage, and his answer is there is no truth to that, since harvesting cork, which is from the bark of cork oak, is fully sustainable, and there is no drop in production. Portugal supplied 75% of all the cork in the world, and 70% of corks are used for bottle stoppers. In other words, shuttles are not the major use for cork. Since the trend is to use non-cork material for bottle stoppers to reduce cost, the Portuguese government has sponsored a "100% cork" campaign in recent years to protect the billion dollar industry in Portugal. Hmm, there is no need to do that if cork is in short supply or demand jumps, and cork price skyrockets, right? Or maybe the campaign is too successful? Here is the Time magazine article where the info comes from. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2027774,00.html What's the cost of cork? In 2011, bottle stoppers made from natural cork costs $0.28 each, while those made from lower-grade 1+1 conglomerate corks and powdered corks cost 8￠ http://www.freshthemovie.com/2011/03/02/cork-forests-actually-m As a crude estimate, the cork needed to make a shuttle is not significantly different from that for a bottle stopper, so my estimate is the cost can't be substantially more. For the sake of argument, let's assume the cost of cork has doubled in recent years, that would only increase the cost of each shuttle by 28 cents, or less than $3.5 per tube. This is a very conservative estimate, in my opinion. So even if the cost of cork has jumped, the price increase per tube should be less than $4 per tube.