In a world where metal prices continue to be one of the highest prices in the economy, it’s hard to fathom that growth will continue. But it’s true. Aluminum is still on track to replace single-use plastic as the primary packaging for goods.

According to Yahoo Finance, the surge in prices isn’t helping producers much either because the material shortages continue to worsen. It could take as long as five years before supply issues resolve.

For Construction Pros even stated that the manufacturing sector grew for the 15th straight month based on surveys of private-sector companies. Still, labor shortages continue, and without labor, there are no supplies.

What’s Causing Metal Prices to Soar Amidst Shortages?

The worldwide pandemic has affected every part of the supply chain, including overseas. It’s led to people not coming back to work after lockdown; and those that did, are still supposed to quarantine if they have been around someone with the disease. The lack of reliability in the workforce has caused short-term shutdowns of metal companies that haven’t been able to keep up with consumer demand.

Because of this, other things are happening like:

  • Record-long lead times for raw materials
  • Product transporting difficulties
  • Shortages of basic materials
  • Port congestion in China
  • Increased cement prices

According to the Wall Street Journal, the shortages are even starting to affect companies like Campbell Soup Co. who have to pay more to get the cans they need for their soups.

Manufacturing Executives Remain Positive

The Production and Employment Indexes showed a 2.3 percentage decline on the Manufacturing PMI chart. It’s as though consumers understand there are worldwide shortages and are living with less in the meantime. Either that or they simply can’t afford the price surges.

Regardless, manufacturing executives know this won’t last forever. Now that more and more people are reporting to be fully vaccinated, it will hopefully become easier to contain the disease. In turn, more people will feel comfortable going back to work and won’t have to miss weeks at a time to quarantine.

There are a lot of factors at play, but the ultimate goal is to restore the workforce that was so devastated by the 2020 lockdowns.

USA Today assures us that we will start to see some labor shortage improvements before the end of the year. Until that day comes, executives remain positive because they know the worst of this is behind us.

Who knows, maybe the world will see aluminum as the world’s leading packaging material sooner rather than later. 

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