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Material Availability Down & Prices Up
2020 was a challenging year of Covid, health concerns, working from home, lockdowns, and job losses. Yet the manufacturing industries remained strong, and were looking toward a brighter 2021. While the industry remains steady, with some industries having record months, 2021 has brought with it the challenge of acquiring material in a timely manner across all sectors of material (Mild Steel, Stainless, Aluminum, HSS/Sheet) and staying in step with the monthly price increases.
For example, mild steel HSS price per pound jumped 2.25x (125%) total from January to September. Mild steel sheet and plate has doubled in price. Stainless and Aluminum have seen significant increases as well.
We have heard of more increases coming soon.
The main factor for the price increase is shutdown of mills during the 2020 Covid lockdowns. This placed a strain on supply, which has led to many timeline issues as mills try to catchup from the months they were inoperable. Another factor is the decrease in availability of offshore product because of the shortage of Seacans available to bring material to Canada.
When will prices start to decline? We’ll see if 2022 will bring about lower prices.