By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
Construction suppliers yesterday predicted that paint prices will increase by more than 7 percent building due to an “unprecedented” lack of raw materials amid the global supply chain crisis.
Anthony Roberts, City Lumber Yard’s general manager, told Tribune Business he is having difficulty sourcing basic hardware items such as plywood, joint compound and sheet rock. “Paint has become a disaster, and a lot of the manufacturers are not able to get raw materials; they’re not able to get supplies,” he said.
“Some of the stuff we’re buying from US suppliers, but some of the goods are imported and are stuck on these mega cargo ships that can’t seem to get to port, so the trickle down does affect everyone.”
Mr Roberts said multiple paint manufacturers have informed him they are struggling to source essential raw materials. He added: “For example, joint compound is very difficult to get; there seems to be a shortage of latex. With the paint, it’s raw materials.
“Basic pressure treated lumber hasn’t been an issue, but occasionally we order stuff with a heavier treatment for marine use, and that has become problematic because the treaters can’t get the chemicals they need.”
Supply chain issues have impacted numerous sectors of the Bahamian and world economy. Multiple factors have contributed to the delays, bottlenecks and associated price increases, including labour shortages at US ports and in the transportation industry. Manufacturing backlogs and surging global demand, as the world emerges from the pandemic, are also having an impact.
Mr Roberts added: “My suppliers are telling me that we should expect significant disruptions for the next four to six weeks. This will dramatically impact our business. My paint supplier told me a few weeks ago that he had to go up on paint by 7 percent, which by the time it gets here it will be a little more because of the duty and the VAT.
“Even if we get a chance to place an order there is no guarantee we will get all of what we ordered. I ordered 40 items and I only received three from my very last order. We have to increase the frequency, and we have to keep harping at suppliers and you have to hope the squeaky wheel may get the inventory. But no doubt this is a knock-on effect.”
Gary Burrows, general manager at Tops Lumber and Plumbing, said he has not seen any further escalation in the challenges being experienced from January this year.
“I just got two 40-foot containers come in yesterday morning. Yes, we have to order a little bit ahead of time, but there hasn’t been any major change from the issues we were dealing with from earlier on in the year,” he added.
“I think the shortage all depends on the material, because pressure treated lumber you would have to wait for about a week or two before you get them in country. But if it were PVC pipes or something of that nature, it may take about three weeks or a month or more.”
Waiting is all some Bahamian companies can do, Mr Burrows said, as there is no telling when suppliers will be able to send a shipment. “Right now we can’t get things like finished plywood, birch plywood and so forth. We have issues getting that because we are basically out of that. We have to search around and see if we can find some, but it is not readily available right now,” he added.