March 2021

Shipping Changes

Freight rates have been increasing rapidly since March 2020 and took off in April as demand grows and the levels of supply fell shorter than expected due to the global pandemic.

Spot rates spiked again by 400% (February 2020) on equipment shortages, port delays, and lack of capacity ahead of CNY factory closures in Asia from mid-February.

Timber price

lumber prices have doubled and tripled over the past year. OSB board prices, for example, were three times higher in September 2020 compared to September 2019. Other prices have gone way up, too. Western SPF 2x4s, for example, has gone up 158% over the past year, studs have risen 164%, and southern pine has gone up 147%

Aluminum Prices

Aluminum, the most energy-intensive base metal, surged to $2,227 per tonne for the first time since June 2018, on the back of production disruptions while demand continues to recover. Meantime, recent data showed an 8.4% annual increase in Chinese aluminum production in the first two months of the year. Aluminum prices are more than 50% higher than a 4-year low of $1,462 hit last May was driven by a recovery in demand particularly in the automotive, packaging, and construction sectors from the Covid-19 hit.

Steel Prices

Steel prices have been on an upwards trajectory during 2020 and are expected to continue to rise throughout 2021. As big exporters of steel like china continue to reduce the export amount every quarter the rush for high-grade steel has never been bigger.

Scafeast has always strived to present the finest equipment which requires a high grade of steel to fuel its needs.

Despite a volatile year, steel prices continued to rise throughout the final quarter of 2020. A smaller supply coupled with rising demand account for the boost. Additionally, new lockdowns around China’s top steel-producing region could further shorten supply.

Steel prices in 2021 are also expected to remain high- especially throughout the first quarter.

If you’ve already taken on new jobs that require steel, then be sure to prepare accordingly.

Recent spikes in COVID-19 cases around the Hebei province, which accounts for over 20% of China’s steel production, may cause further issues when it comes to steel prices.

What to expect during 2021

As we all continue to adjust to the changes during 2020 and 2021, we are expecting some changes with prices due to the increase in raw materials, shipping prices, and labor.

At Scafeast we take no shortcuts when it comes to quality, customer service, and most importantly SAFETY. As we progress throughout 2021, pricing changes will take place in the Mobile Tower Scaffold, KwikStage scaffold, and Formwork equipment.

We will continue providing updates regarding raw materials and shipping costs. We believe in transparency.

To ensure an adequate supply of construction supplies, please give us a call on 1300 181 183.