Shortages in the swimming pool industry continue and leading to considerable timeline delays. Experts say that a severe shortage of plastics and chemicals is affecting the entire pool industry. Limited supplies and rising costs of raw materials are causing prices to skyrocket at distributors. The recent surge in demand for pool products and COVID-19 restrictions impacted supply chains in the United States. And while production lines are slowly coming back online, many in the industry wonder if it is worth saving this year’s pool season.
Situations Causing Pool Shortages
Finances, Price Raises, and Lack of Labor Workers
Prices for chemicals, components, and machinery have increased at all significant dealers. In May, PoolCorp raised prices on their products, and other pool companies reported that other distributors increased costs in a big way.
An example is price raises of trichlor and dichlor; maintaining existing pricing structures has already become untenable for pool service companies. Many pool service companies have begun telling their customers to expect price increases for weekly pool service this season.
One thing is for sure: If commodities get more expensive, consumers can be sure it will affect their wallets this pool season. Expect to see an increase in price between fifteen and twenty-five percent for purchasing an in-ground swimming pool.
Also, the shortage of skilled labor during the busiest months of the pool season relied on the Covid-19 relief bill. The incentive made most people wanting to stay home and collect unemployment instead of work for a living. Inventories of many key components are tight as Covid has caused a series of widespread factory shutdowns.
Winter Storm Uri and the Effects of PVC Manufacturers
After Winter Storm Uri, the shortage of plastics caused gaps in the pool industry’s supply chain by taking many supplies off the market. While pool owners in Texas have spent millions of dollars on unexpected pool repairs, a report showed that the recent freeze in Texas has also taken a large portion of valves off the market. Winter Storm Uri hit petrochemical plants in Texas and Louisiana hard. Many industry experts worry that supply chains have not yet recovered to make a significant impact in time for this year’s pool season. That could be why wholesalers are hedging, saying more price increases could be imminent.
Hurricane Laura and the Effects on Chlorine Factories
Hurricane Laura triggered a fire at one of the leading chlorine factories, shutting down more than 40% of chlorine tablet production in the United States. Prices for chemicals, especially chlorine, have risen significantly, and analysts predict that the price of chlorine tablets will increase by up to 50% by mid-July.
And there you have it! Many shortages in the industry are causing a delay in completing inground pool projects. It also caused a massive backlog of homeowners just waiting to get on the list for pool construction. Consumers should expect construction timelines to extend from 6-8 weeks to 3 months or more. Shortages cause delays in construction as materials to become scarce and remaining supplies now have a high price tag.