The Impact of COVID-19 on the Fencing Industry
2020 has seen many industries impacted by COVID-19, and the fencing industry is no exception. As a family owned and operated company, we have had to make difficult choices. We have been fortunate enough to be included in the essential worker category to continue providing security and protection for our customers. The fencing industry has taken many hits during this pandemic such as tariffs on materials, port closings causing delay of materials, and banning travel on some of our vendors causing delay on deliveries.
There is a severe shortage of pressure treated lumber across the United States. This is causing issues for the construction and fencing industries. The shortage is largely due to the spike in DIY home improvement projects and working conditions in factories due to COVID-19.
Most pressure treated wood comes from Brazil. Exports have slowed down due to shipping ports being closed. American umber mills have also been closed or are working with reduced staff. The demand has been higher than the supply, and it’s estimated that it will be like this for a while.
Pressure treated wood prices have skyrocketed between the months of June and July due to the lack of supply, and prices are expected to continue climbing.
Vinyl product manufacturers are facing the same issue: working at reduced capacity. Our vinyl manufacturer is 32,000 panels backordered, putting vinyl shipments out 6-8 weeks from their ordered dates.
There have also been PVC shortages. PVC is a plastic polymer that can be used for many applications. Many manufacturers began using PVC to make PPE for frontline workers during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. PVC is being used to make face masks and face shields.
Prices on European PVC exports have risen 8.5%, Indian PVC export prices have increased as well. Plant closures across the US has greatly slowed down vinyl production and distribution. The shortage of available vinyl products is causing prices to raise across the board, imported or domestic.
The construction and automotive industries have been heavily hit by COVID-19. American made metal manufacturers are affected by the virus, as well as external factors, such as the Asian metal market. China is already the world leader for steel, and in 2017 they produced more than half of the world’s aluminum.
The construction and automotive industries are facing tariffs on imported materials, as well as long waiting periods to receive supplies.
We at Paramount Fencing remain open, and in the attempt to keep everyone safe and healthy, we have implemented social distancing during our estimates, not to take away our number one goal of educating and assisting each homeowner to help make a well-informed decision. While more businesses are re-opening their operations, we will continue to push through our daily processing of obtaining fence permits and ordering of materials to complete your installation. As of now, most of the local county administrative buildings are still closed to the public and taking longer than normal to approve the fence permits. We appreciate your patience in this matter. We will work diligently to advance with the installation of your fence as we obtain permitting, HOA approvals and materials.