A Mid-April Commodities Market Update

What’s happening:

  • Lack of availability and strong demand are rising raw material costs
  • Inventories are low and the supply chain is stretched thin
  • A lack of shipping containers and domestic freight is increasing input costs
  • Strong demand and pricing increases are expected to continue throughout 2021

As the Covid-19 recovery continues to gain momentum across the country, it’s being met with a strong global demand for commodity products that are increasing in price but limited in availability. Find out more below.


PVC resin suppliers have implemented increases in February, March, and April, which are some of the largest in the past 35 years. Resin suppliers have been dealing with supply issues since winter storm shutdowns in February, a general lack of availability due to shipping disruptions, and high global demand during Covid-19 recovery.

Due to PVC resin shortages, PVC plumbing pipe mills are not able to run at full capacity. This has caused supply to run tight, with purchase inquiries being turned away or allocated and lead times going up to as much as 90 days.

Some manufacturers have issued new price sheets for PVC conduit, which may be implemented on a broader scale soon. Rising input prices, along with increasing domestic freight rates, are driving higher costs.

See our PVC plumbing and PVC conduit products.


UPDATE 4/16: Copper Closes Up, Multiplier Increase, With Additional Increases Possible

Better than expected recovery outside of China has driven the strong demand for copper, not only in traditional sectors but also for green energy initiatives. With copper components found in all kinds of electrical components needed to replace carbon energy, prices increased as production resumed following Covid-19 shutdowns.

As current mines are brought to capacity, a surge in copper production still falls short of demand. New mines are not expected to open in the near term, which will keep prices high.

See our copper tube and coils.


Continued high demand for steel products and a limited global supply of raw materials has continued to drive price increases. Shipping container shortages due to long unloading times at ports and shipping backups from the Suez Canal incident have stretched supply chains thin and increased shipping costs.

Domestic freight availability has further hampered fulfillment, with an increased demand for shipping leading to longer lead times and increased freight rates.

These increased input costs have resulted in past increases on domestic steel pipe, globally sourced steel pipe, and metal conduit. More increases are anticipated both in the short term and long term, as demand increases, and mills look to meet demand and stabilize inventories.

See our steel pipe products.

How We Can Help:

Merfish United’s business model – which enables wholesalers to buy a broad array of pipe products from one supplier, at low minimums for FFA – is designed for low and unpredictable volume scenarios, exactly like the one we are in right now.  Use us to help manage your inventory and buy what you need, when you need it. Mix-and-match Copper Tube with Steel Pipe, PVC Pipe, Conduit, Strut & Rod to make our low weigh minimums on your next weekly order.

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