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Threaded Rod Increase, Market Update for Steel, PVC and Copper

What’s happening:

  • Threaded rod increase on Monday, 9/20
  • Steel prices continue up
  • PVC volatile from storm disruptions
  • PVC conduit increase
  • Copper ups and downs

Threaded Rod & Continued Steel Increases

Due to escalating input costs, threaded rod manufacturers have implemented a price increase of approximately 10%. We will be uploading a new strut list price sheet on Monday, 9/20. For more info or to place orders, please call your Merfish United representative now.  Click here to see our threaded rod products.

Manufacturers face increasingly high steel prices as demand for finished products continues, with the general supply situation still lagging and lead times increasing. For more information, see this article from the Wall Street Journal. Lead times for certain threaded rod products are stretching into December and January.

A strut increase was announced last week, following mid-August increases on domestic welded steel pipe, import welded steel pipe, and import seamless steel pipe. Lead times on certain strut products are stretching to into NOVEMBER because of increased demand, as well as input challenges such as lack of raw materials and freight, and other Covid-related disruptions.

As always, rely on Merfish United during low-supply and volatile times for stock and availability, with low order minimums for FFA on weekly delivery.

PVC Resin Availability Following Gulf Storms

Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast weeks ago. Still, critical PVC resin processing facilities, which supply the raw materials needed for PVC pipe and conduit, remain down or in a state force majeure with sales limits. These PVC resin disruptions and outages make further increases likely as supply continues to fall behind.

With PVC pipe mills affected by this additional lack of raw materials, allocations and price increases are likely as inventories are increasingly unlikely to be built back to normal levels. In a similar low-supply situation last winter, where 2020 hurricanes and Covid-19 disruptions slowed the PVC supply chain, pipe inventories which are built over a slow winter season for the busier summer season were not able to catch up with a recovery-fueled demand. We could see this scenario again in 2021/2022. See our PVC pipe, and PVC conduit products.

PVC Conduit Increase

Currently, PVC conduit lead times are stretching into 12 or more weeks. Because of the reasons mentioned above, PVC conduit mills have announced an immediate increase which is now in effect.

Copper Ups and Downs

The Copper COMEX remains well above $4.00/lb., up more than a dollar from around $3.05/lb this time last year. Driving these historic increases have been the demand for low-carbon energy alternatives, where copper is a crucial conductive material, as well as disruptions in the supply chain, especially from Covid-stricken mining operations. Increased global demand, from China, in particular, has also contributed to rising prices amidst a supply shortage. However, the volatility of copper and its up-and-down pricing swings since May can be attributed to the news cycle, according to the Electrical Distributor Magazine, where down jobs, production, and other reports from the Fed have caused long-term recovery fears. Other concerning global trade and currency headlines have caused the rapid increases and decreases in the price of copper. Still, overall demand remains strong, suggesting prices will stay at these higher levels. Click here to see our copper products.

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Other Supply Chain Issues

Ocean freight prices are spiking to record levels, as container shortages and backups at receiving ports continue to stretch global lead times. Staffing challenges and labor shortages continue to affect everything from manufacturing, warehouse and freight capability, and the situation may be worsening.

How We Can Help

Protect yourself from these volatile commodity swings. Merfish United’s business model – which enables wholesalers to buy a broad array of pipe products from one supplier, at low minimums for FFA – is designed for low and unpredictable volume scenarios, exactly like the one we are in right now. Call your representative now to schedule your next weekly delivery of mixed-and-matched pipe products.

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