Covid-19 Electrical Distribution Supply Chain Impact Update
JULY 2021 SUPPLY CHAIN UPDATECopper has continued its rebound in cost. As of this writing, it is currently trading at nearly $4.40 once more. But, the price of actual finished copper building wire never waned much. The material that goes into the jacket of the most common type of cable(s) in our market, THHN (Polyvinylchloride) & XHHW (Polyethylene) are both very much in short supply, and priced higher than they ever have been in the past. Lead times from the factories are continuing to rise, due to both demand and some shortages in raw material. The same PVC shortages that are forcing cable pricing up, are doing the same to nearly every product that relies on plastic. Most major US manufacturers of PVC pipe are still not making certain sizes of conduit. As of this writing, Schedule 40 ½”, 1 ¼”, 2 ½” & 3 ½” still are not in production, as these companies are using the PVC and resin they have on hand to make more common sizes of pipe. Same goes for Schedule 80 PVC sizes, 3/4”, 1”, 1 ¼”, 1 ½”, 2 ½”, 3 ½” & 5”. Steel continues to be nearly unstoppable, breaking records almost every couple of weeks. In the middle of March, a metric tonne of Cold Rolled Coiled Steel, which is most commonly used in our industry, was trading at $1,525. Currently, that is up over $525 more right now. Steel is actually in sort supply, and it appears to stay that way at least through summer. From October 2020 until now, Raw Steel has nearly tripled in value
JUNE 2021 SUPPLY CHAIN UPDATESteel pricing continues to be the talk of the town. With an extremely tight supply chain for raw material, and steel costs setting record highs here in the US almost weekly, most everything that touches steel has gone up in price. And more and more items are becoming harder to source because of all these factors. As you can see from the below, CRC had one lull to close April. And immediately shot back up in value shortly after. As of this writing, we are nearing $1,900 per metric ton. That is up $1,000 YTD. Well more than double what steel was trading for at the end of last year. While Copper is not necessarily in short supply, it is still in demand. As with most everything metal, the price of CU is just as strong as ever. One year ago to the day, a pound of copper could be had for $2.40. Currently, it is nearing $4.70 once more. Now nearly double the price it was. Outside forces are pushing the finished cost of copper cable up as well, beyond the surging cost of the red metal itself. The raw materials used to make the jacket that goes on finished cable, have often been hard to source and most certainly cost more right now as well.
MAY 2021 SUPPLY CHAIN UPDATESteel continues to be pricey, as the 1 month chart shows below. In fact, the cost of a metric ton of Cold Rolled Steel has more than doubled in cost over the past year to date. Domestic steel mills that idled furnaces last year amid fears of a prolonged pandemic-induced economic downturn, have been slow in ramping up production. This is leading to them playing catch up, as prices are soaring due to demand as well as these shortages. The mills are constantly overbooked, and many are now past capacity. With the US Mills still not producing enough steel to meet demand. Many US manufacturers are once more turning to foreign steel, and just paying any import tariffs on that. This is now taxing an already strained foreign steel market as well. The EU is seeing their own steel shortages and price surges as well. A pound of copper? That has more than doubled in cost as well. Whereas steel has already broken its own cost record, Copper is just pennies away from doing the same.
APRIL 2021 SUPPLY CHAIN UPDATEOur previous update saw CRC Steel hit an All-Time high of $1,464 per MT. As of last week, it was up to $1,624 per MT, with no signs of slowing down; continually breaking new records since the start of the year.
OVERVIEW OF ELECTRICAL SUPPLY CHAIN KEY COMPONENTS
MARCH 2021 SUPPLY CHAIN UPDATEThe cost of base metals has been steadily climbing for months. This effects not only the costs for cable and conduit, but most everything we stock. Cold Rolled Coil, the steel our industry relies on, went from $850 in October 2021, to $1100 by New Years, and is currently at $1464 as of this update.
MARCH 2021 SUPPLY CHAIN UPDATE
NEW YEAR, NEW PRICE INCREASES
January Supply Chain UpdatesThe cost of base metals have been steadily climbing for months. This effects not only the cost for cable and conduit, but most everything we stock. If the US dollar stays weak, it organically costs more to buy materials. If the supply chain stays strangled, it costs more due to demand. If the Pandemic drags on, things cost more due to COVID shutdowns. Combine all three dynamics and price increases become inevitable.
January 2021 Supply Chain Updates
NEW KINKS IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN — NOVEMBER EDITION
As the US continues to wait for a COVID Stimulus plan to be released, so does the EU. And with every new report of a highly functioning vaccine that gets reported, metals have been spiking. The market always responds well to positive outlooks. The vast majority of products in our industry touch both Copper and Steel. And as such, the value (and replacement costs) of those goods are at near recent record highs. CU hit its 2 year high yesterday, topping out at $3.2395. This is the highest its been since June 2018. As you can see below, Copper has soared back to life nearly every week since the initial COVID shutdowns. We have gone from a 1 year valley of $1.97 per pound. to a 1 year peak of $3.24 per pound.
Steel is no slouch either. CRC, Cold Rolled Coiled, is the base for our metallic raceway, and the metal that most effects our finished pipe price. The below chart shows that is was being purchased for $700 US per ton over the summer. It is currently at $942 and climbing. This has lead to record prices being asked for finished goods in our market. Nearly all “like” manufacturers are asking for the same higher costs these days. Forcing everyone to raise prices for product effected by these base metal increases.
In addition to price increases, we are still seeing some abnormalities in our supply chain as shown below:
November 2020 Supply Chain Updates
September 2020 Supply Chain Updates:
Coronavirus Impact on Supply Chain July Update:
As most supply availability stabilizes, many prices are rising.