As we start seeing the end of the Covid pandemic, we are also seeing some of the consequences of it. Shortages of things. And it’s not toilet paper.
It’s a strange combination, too. Lumber, microchips and chlorine.
Let’s start with lumber. The price is through the roof… if you can afford the roof! The price of lumber is up over 200%. Why? You can blame the Covid pandemic and low interest rates.
Fortune.com is reporting that lumber prices could spiral out of control in the next few months. Supply is backlogged and cannot keep up with demand.
The Covid quarantines caused lumber mills to halt production. Those same quarantines caused a surge in do-it-yourself projects. Plus, low interest rates caused an increase in new home building. It could take months for prices to come down.
Also, microchips. Blame the pandemic on that, too. The need and desire for electronic devices during our time at home caused a surge in the need for microchips.
It turns out the silicon wafers are the brains for just about everything electronic we use. Lesley Stahl and 60 Minutes did a fascinating story about this last night. Not only is there a shortage of microchips, the United States is becoming increasingly reliant on Taiwan for the chips.
It’s so bad that Ford announced it will produce one million fewer vehicles this year because of the microchip shortage.
Now, chlorine. Yes, blame the pandemic, but not entirely. We stayed home and in our pools more. That caused the need for more chlorine. It was, however, a fire in Louisiana in August that caused the biggest problem.
USA Today reports the Bio-Lab pool and spa treatment factory suffered a devastating fire following Hurricane Laura.
As a consequence, chlorine prices are up. But experts say there are other chemicals you can use as options.
So, that’s where we are. We start the week with concerns of shortages. Lumber, microchips and chlorine. I think we may see even more as we start to recover from the last year.