People across America continue to worry because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Even preppers, who are often prepared before SHTF, are concerned because 11 items are often in short supply because of the pandemic.
Prep before SHTF by reading up on these items that you also need to stock up on, like chicken for your stockpile or lumber for your homestead.
Don’t panic, but be prepared
The pandemic has significantly changed “normal” life and the American economy.
Many workers now work from home while others have chosen new careers. However, for those in the manufacturing industries, jobs are slowly returning to pre-pandemic norms.
While legislators say that this is a temporary situation as the country reopens, according to economic experts, consumers must take note of continued shortages and inflated prices.
Here are 11 products that will most likely be affected by supply shortages in the manufacturing industry.
Many food products have been affected by the pandemic and supply chain issues.
Bacon and hot dogs
Common pork products like bacon and hot dogs may be a little harder to find this summer, especially since consumer demand is already overtaking the current supply.
Shortages in pork products like bacon and hot dogs are due to coronavirus outbreaks last summer, wherein over 40 processing plants were forced to close completely.
According to Christine McCracken, Rabobank executive director for animal protein, supply issues are the “after-effects of last year’s disruption.”
Isaac Olvera, food and agriculture economist at ArrowStream, added that the issue can be traced back to the start of the pandemic.
With more of the country gradually opening up, consumers will most probably host more BBQs and family gatherings to reconnect with their loved ones, potentially being a “big driver of meat demand in the coming months.”
However, due to lower production in 2020 and higher disease losses this past winter, the hog supply has taken a hit. This will then drive prices higher amid the increased demand for pork products.
The decline means retailers are likely to “price-ration supply” of hog meat and shoppers will see higher prices and fewer discounts to keep stores from running out of stock. If you want to stock up, keep an eye out for a good deal and buy as much as you can for your stockpile.
The increasing prices and shortage of chicken wings and other chicken products are due to various factors.
- The devastating freezes in Texas that killed hundreds of thousands of chickens in 2020
- Labor shortages at farms, processing facilities and trucking companies that affected supplies to restaurants and stores
While America has yet to experience a corn shortage, the grain is in short supply elsewhere.
Factors like swine flu epidemics, labor shortages and weather problems have affected corn supplies from overseas and prices are rising because of the dwindling surpluses.
Experts say that corn shortages may get worse if domestic production is affected by issues like disease, drought or other weather problems.
Restaurants are struggling to get ahold of ketchup packets and other condiments due to the increase in demand amid the pandemic, especially with the ongoing trend of curbside service, takeout-only dining and delivery options.
As the shortage continues to persist, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, the world’s largest ketchup maker, has increased packet production by over 25 percent, or billions of ketchup packets.
Fortunately, you can still stock up on bottled ketchup that is still readily available from other companies.
Certain imported food products like cheeses, coffees, olive oil and seafood are becoming scarcer on the shelves and experiencing significant price increases due to weeks-long delays as ships are held offshore waiting for permission to dock and begin unloading at American ports.
The stoppage is also linked to labor shortages at the docks, warehouses and transportation hubs. At the same time, many companies in the country are raising prices on domestic products that require some of the imported ingredients.
The pandemic has also increased demand for many raw materials, which are now becoming very expensive.
Many U.S. mills were shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. As things gradually improve across the country, mills have been slow to reopen.
Unfortunately, the mills halted production in anticipation of a housing slump that never actually happened. Surprisingly, the demand for building materials and new homes has actually increased during the pandemic.
Certain cuts of lumber now cost seven to eight times more than before the pandemic. If you’re planning a prepping project this year, stock up on lumber if you see a good deal.
Only a handful of mills in the country are operating at above 50 percent capacity as lumber prices continue skyrocketing to record heights.
The reluctance of Biden’s administration to allow lumber imports from Canada is also impacting the industry. According to experts, prices will come down but not until the end of 2022.
Paper or cotton products
Household goods that require raw paper or cotton are also in low supply, such as diapers, incontinence supplies, sanitary napkins, tampons and toilet paper.
Prices are increasing and some manufacturers have announced additional hikes in the near future. Prep ahead as store shelves might empty when deliveries to warehouses and stores are possibly delayed by several months.
U.S. steel mills were closed in early 2020 and they have been slow to reopen post-pandemic.
Industry leaders assumed car sales and building supply orders would be lagging as the country recovered while inventories plummeted as carmakers and manufacturers continued to order steel.
Steel fence posts, fencing and other building supplies became scarce amid the pandemic.
Now that businesses are gradually recovering, that production in the country is now back up to pre-pandemic levels. However, shipping and transportation for the supply chain continue to be an issue.
Many other industries and products have also been affected by supply and demand challenges due to the pandemic.
Back in 2020, a chemical plant fire in Louisiana was blamed for the current shortage of chlorine tablets. At the same time, pool owners in warmer states are spending more time at home and in their pools, increasing the demand for chlorine.
The sanitizing tablets are in demand and prices have doubled or more, with chlorine products now priced at the highest they have ever been.
If you have the means to do so, stock up now. Experts say retail prices will continue to rise, with no foreseeable end in sight.
If you are looking for a new device that requires a computer chip or processor, you may be out of luck. A global shortage of semiconductors and chips is causing inventory issues for manufacturers, with the automotive industry also being hit hard by the shortage.
As automakers were slowing down production, technology companies were buying up computer chips in anticipation of shortages amid the pandemic.
Electronics like desktop computers, laptops and printers were in demand for the last few months as more workers and students started telecommuting or homeschooling.
Only a handful of manufacturers are running at full capacity and the shortage is slated to extend past the end of this year.
Gas prices have skyrocketed, especially when compared to the last four years.
The price increase is associated with a lack of qualified tanker truck drivers, particularly now that more than 25 percent of the nation’s fuel trucks are parked, crippling the supply chain.
Other factors affecting gasoline prices in 2021 include freezes in Texas that halted fuel production for long periods and the May ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, the country’s largest oil pipeline.
The industry continues to struggle amid other issues like hurricanes, refinery fires and tanker spills that affect the supply. Some experts also warn of a possible fuel shortage in the country.
Before SHTF, stay calm and prep as you normally would even without a pandemic. Shop wisely and stock up on what you need and will use so you don’t take too much and leave others without access to supplies they may also need.