We’re always impacted by the laws of Supply and Demand.  Whether it’s our supplies or the demand for custom metal art.

Supply and Demand

We recently were reminded of the impacts of the law of Supply and Demand.  Especially when it comes to steel prices.

After calling our local steel yard, we found out that sheet goods were in limited supply.  We buy 4′ x 8′ sheets of steel, usually ten at a time.  Only four sheets were available, and they didn’t have a date for future shipments.  We’ve never run into this problem before.  And before you jump to conclusions – no.  The elections did not have an impact on this.

After researching a bit, we discovered that production has not increased over the last year.  No new plants have been put into production, as promised.  The US produces quite a bit of steel, but most of our sheet goods on the west coast come out of Canada.  China and Asia produce quite a bit of steel, which make up the lions share of available steel.

Our steel supplies

Our sheet goods are a specialized item.  Apparently, a company receives a roll of steel.  This steel is then unwound and cut into sheet goods.  Quite a bit of processing by individual companies which is shipped to suppliers.

If you think about where steel is used, it’s used everywhere.  Buildings, cars, road construction, bridges, etc.  Increases in infrastructure (like the building of “the wall” over the last 4 years) have increased the demand.  But companies have not increased their production, apparently.

Small Business Impacts

So, again, the little guy suffers.  The law of supply and demand impacts us.  Our prices will go up when we are able to get new supplies.  At this point, it looks like March before we are able to get more steel.  Typically the start of the year is a little slow for us.  We’re hoping that’s the case again in 2021.  We don’t like to turn away business if it’s available.

So, stay tuned.  We’ll keep checking on our supply.  And hoping the demand matches up!