Although we are still experiencing shipment delays and have incurred price increases on materials and packaging items, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel. The shipment delays are becoming shorter, and the frequency and scale of price increases have begun to slow and will hopefully level off.
Over the past six months, our price increases have been primarily for our acrylic polymers and other chemicals used in our latex-based caulk formulations. These increases have impacted costs for products such as EcoTex 25 acrylic latex caulk, SilTex 40 Kitchen & Bath, Gyp-Grip 40 Drywall Adhesive, All-Grip 60 Construction Adhesive, Sound Seal 90 Smoke and Acoustical Sealant, and our Firestop-814+ Intumescent Firestopping Sealant.
We have also experienced substantial price increases in raw materials and packaging for our polyurethane foams: Full Fill GP straw dispensed foam; Full Fill Pro Window & Door gun foam; Flame Tech FB straw dispensed fireblocking foam; and Thermal Seal All-In-One Window & Door / Fireblocking gun foam have all been affected.
Overall, these higher materials prices and high freight costs have accounted for year-to-date cost increases ranging from 7 to 12 percent, depending on the product. For the past eight months, we have been doing our best to absorb these rising materials, packaging items, and freight costs in the hope they will begin to come down.
With all that in mind, it isn’t a stretch to say that we are sitting on the most expensive inventory in our company’s history. We’re doing what we can to maintain current pricing for our customers while making preparations to reduce pricing when costs begin to decrease.
Thankfully, there are signs of light at the end of the tunnel and some good news for our silicone customers. We have started to see costs for silicone coming down. No, that wasn’t a typo! After increasing to almost 130% last fall, silicone prices are finally beginning to trend downward as supply catches up to demand.
Contact your Everkem sales or account representative to get updated pricing or ask for a new quotation. If limited supply has forced you to source silicone from an alternate vendor, ask them about these decreasing costs. I’m sure they’ll thank us for it…
While we are excited that silicone costs are decreasing and upstream raw material vendors seem to be catching up, there are still some constraints. We are still experiencing difficulties obtaining the necessary fire-retardant chemicals for our Firestop-814+ Intumescent Firestopping Sealant. Meeting customer demand with these essential chemicals in short supply has proven challenging to us and all other North American firestopping manufacturers.
We will continue to explore options that may alleviate the supply strain on our customers. Internally, we have made strategic investments in equipment and personnel, improving our throughput and helping us steadily decrease our lead times. Thanks largely to these investments, our shelves have more inventory (albeit very expensive) than we have had all year.
Externally, our vendors are beginning to have availability. Although they still have extended lead times, they are starting to hit their promised delivery dates more reliably.
As we move into the fall months, I see things transitioning from us having nothing to sell to a lot more to sell. That means that hopefully, in the near future, we can get back to undercutting each other’s pricing again, just like we used to. That is, of course, until the supposedly impending recession – the story continues.
Until next time, we thank you for following along and allowing us to talk caulk with you.