Royal Mail prices set to rise again: here's what it means for small businesses

Royal Mail is set to increase the cost of international postage further, according to letters sent to small businesses, in a further blow to the self-employed sending items overseas.

The postal service will bring forward its annual price increases from March to January 2017, following the drop in value of sterling.

Small business customers received letters last week confirming that tariffs will rise from 3 January 2017, a full three months ahead of normal annual price increases.

Online sellers suffering

Online sellers and those who export are set to be hit hardest by the increases. While the new prices are yet to be revealed, the Royal Mail said that they were necessary in order to offset the falling pound.

The letter said: “We appreciate that [the increase] is earlier than you may be used to and is as a result of changes in the currency market over the past six months.

“While these currency movements have resulted in more favourable trading conditions for exporting overseas they have unfortunately increased the costs of delivering mail and parcels abroad. The new International Business tariff date of 3 January 2017 has been brought forward from March and now aligns with the annual increase in delivery costs.”

Plunging pound

Sterling closed down 0.29 points against the euro at the end of Sunday pre-market trading, and now sits off 21.14 per cent on the year.

The falling pound has also impacted fuel prices, with the cost of a tank rising by £2.75 this month thanks to the plunge in sterling and a recovering oil market.

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