Canadian Contractor

By WRLA   

WRLA provides building materials update

Canadian Contractor building materials supply chain wrla

During our meeting with Transport Canada last week, we presented the freight issues being experienced with containers and exorbitant costs that need to be paid in order for containers to be shipped. Container costs have increased 300-500 per cent since last year and if vendors aren’t able to pay these increased costs, their containers are sitting in ports full of product.

While no solutions were provided during this meeting, the issue is being looked into and we will provide an update as soon as we are able.

Resin-Based Products

Resins and petrochemical plants are not 100 per cent back online. Of the 168 plants shut down in February, all but 46 are back online at some capacity but not at 100 per cent production as of yet. We anticipate that by July 1st plants will be functioning at 90 per cent, which means that inventory levels won’t return to normal until August/September.

This is important to note as resins impact a variety of product lines many of which are outlined in this memo.


Lumber Products

Lumber in some areas is starting to be more readily available. Price resistance increases availability, however there are still shortages on various products. The market pricing is softening in some areas but there are shortages of specific materials and long lead times continue.

EWP is the #1 constraint in the Canadian market and new construction will consume all the available EWP this year.

OSB is on short supply, and we caution you about the use of offshore material that has made its way into the market. It is important to check with building offices if product substitutions plan to be used.

Treated lumber such as fence boards, decking and timbers are in very tight supply.


Sever supply constraints continue and price increases need to be expected. The shortages will add further pressure to exterior sheathing in the summer months.


Price increases expect to continue in all lines of insulation. Demand for mineral wool, blowing wool and batts continues to outstrip supply for a majority of 2021 and lead times will remain fairly consistent with what we have been experiencing.

Steel Studs

Demand outstrips mill capacity, which has led to major shortages. Price increases are expected.


The situation varies with suppliers, some supply is on allocation while other manufacturers are in a good position. Granules have become an issue for some manufacturers, which could increase lead times as supply is picked up.

Expect price increases on roofing products as well as accessories since the plastic components are impacted by resin availability and challenges.

Interior Doors

Pricing is expected to climb, and product allocations have been imposed by some manufacturers while others have been able to increase their capacity to supply the market. Lead times and shipping will vary.

The demand for interior doors has almost doubled over the past year, as such some manufactures have been investing heavily into capacity.


Pricing for mouldings expects to remain volatile with more inventory allocations to be expected. Ocean freight, material shortages and increased costs from mills are driving the cost increases.

Windows & Exterior Doors

Expect some increased prices on some product lines. Resin availability has created some disruptions. Some suppliers have product more readily available than others. Steel doors have become an issue due to lack of material, however substitutions are readily available.

Vinyl Siding and Aluminum

Price increases and long lead times have been experienced as a result of raw material supplies, freight, pallet and labour costs.

Steel Siding

Steel prices continue to escalate and lead times will vary based on supplier availability of product. Some colours are low or out of stock. Demand for product continues to be high.

Paints & Adhesives

There continues to be shortages and issues related to resin as well as spray cans, so products are on allocation and price increases have been experienced as result of shortages and freight costs.

Other products seeing shortages:

Concrete products such as retaining walls, paving stones and slabs have a limited offering and demand has been outstripping supply.

Copper shortages and increased prices continue and are expected to do so for the remainder of the year. The supply has not been able to keep up with the demand.


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1 Comment » for WRLA provides building materials update
  1. I’m just glad this pandemic seems to be slowing down now that vaccines are rolled out to the masses. Hopefully these prices can go back to normal but somehow I doubt that will happen any time soon.

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