Soaring Prices and Shortages of Popular Summer Essentials

Posted: June 20, 2021 2:27 am

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, recent weather conditions, and a variety of additional mishaps have created a host of supply issues with some of the most in-demand goods. Heading into the warm summer months, the shortage of some of these goods will become even more evident than usual. Here are just a few of the goods that Americans may have to pay more for this summer.

Chlorine: Do you have a swimming pool that requires the use of chlorine? You may be paying more than you are used to this summer for this chemical. A chemical plant that made an ingredient that is key to the production of chlorine caught on fire last August when Category 4 Hurricane Laura slammed into the Gulf Coast.

While the shortage has its roots in the fire in Louisiana last year, pool owners are still having issues finding chlorine tablets. Because of this ongoing shortage, some pool owners are making the switch to saltwater pools.

Gasoline: The summer is traditionally the time to hit the road for some adventure. However, the soaring price of gasoline may have some families sticking close to home this summer. As the COVID-19 shutdowns continued for months last year, the global oil market experienced a drastic increase in supply causing the prices to drop. Unfortunately, the demand caught up much more quickly than production, leading to a spike in prices.

Air Conditioning: A spring heat wave in the central part of the US led to a surge in demand for air conditioning units and parts. As a result, many parts and units are in short supply heading into the brutal summer months. If you know that you have a part that needs to be replaced, it is important to act as quickly as possible. Do not wait until the next surge in the mercury to track down what you need.

Coffee: Looking for that next caffeine fix? You may find that your favorite coffee shop is out of the essentials that you need for your favorite drink. Major coffee shops, including corporate giant Starbucks, are reporting running out of ingredients and supplies such as cups and lids.

Lumber: By now, most people know that the price of lumber has skyrocketed over the last year. This is largely because many homeowners decided to use the downtime afforded by the pandemic to dive into those home improvement projects. The lack of lumber supply could spell trouble for people looking to prepare for the arrival of hurricane season.

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Vehicles: A worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips is being blamed for a severe shortage of vehicles. These chips are used in nearly every element of a new vehicle, including multimedia systems and power steering. This means that inventory of new vehicles continues to plummet, leading to long waiting lists for people looking to trade in their older vehicles for something new and shiny.

It is also more expensive to rent a car, posing a challenge for families looking to finally take a vacation after over a year of being cooped up. Faced with crushing financial difficulties when the travel industry came to a screeching halt during the early days of the pandemic, many rental car companies sold off much of their fleet to generate much-needed revenue. While this provided a boost to the anemic industry, the companies now do not have the number of cars in their fleet needed to meet the demand of travelers.

Aluminum: One of the scarcest products over the last year of the pandemic has been aluminum. This presents a significant challenge for corporations that rely on aluminum cans to sell beverages such as soda and beer. As a result, the price of any of these goods have increased sharply in recent months. It is also going to be more likely that some of your favorite summer beverages may be sold out.

Lifeguards: Certified lifeguards are also in short supply this summer. A lack of training and certification programs throughout the pandemic have led to this shortage, forcing the closure of many beaches and pools because of a lack of lifeguards. Some beaches are simply opening without lifeguards, making it important that you take extra precautions if a trip to the ocean is on your agenda for this summer.

Bicycles: The summer is the perfect time to pick up that biking hobby. However, a lack of available bicycles may put many plans on hold. Sales of adult leisure bicycles rose sharply during the pandemic as Americans found themselves with more free time on their hands to exercise. Suppliers have yet to catch up with this demand. In addition, a shortage of bike parts has also made it more challenging to repair older bikes in need of a little TLC.