Why The US Can’t Build Houses Fast Enough Anymore

The United States is experiencing a shortage in construction materials. Concrete is the foundation of just about everything. It’s used to construct buildings, highways, bridges, roads and more. During the Covid-19 pandemic, concrete fell victim to the same phenomena affecting other essential materials and goods: snarled supply chains and labor shortages. And demand for concrete has only increased after the Senate passed the $1 trillion infrastructure package. Additionally, copper prices surged in 2021. The base metal remains in high demand, much thanks to its need in green energy projects and electric cars. In May 2021, commodities analysts at Goldman Sachs called copper ‘the new oil.’ That’s because electric cars need several times more copper than their gas-powered counterparts. And power grids getting electricity from wind, solar and hydro sources also need copper—much more than the industry is currently producing. Steel is also in short supply and high demand. It’s in everything from dishwashers to cars. Since the start of the pandemic, steel prices have spiked 300% over pre-pandemic levels, pricing over $1,900 at one point. Some worry it’s a bubble that’s about to burst. Lastly, the U.S. is running out of pain. Demand for raw materials in the paint industry soared over the pandemic as quarantined consumers took to DIY projects and home improvement. But supply couldn’t keep up as global trade networks broke down amid the Covid surge. SEGMENTS: 00:00 -- Can The U.S. Cement Industry Keep Up With The $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill? 11:24 -- Why A Looming Copper Shortage Has Big Consequences For The Green Economy 20:16 -- Is The Steel Bubble About To Pop? 31:44 -- Why The U.S. Is Running Out Of Paint
Tue, 29 Mar 2022 16:00:35 GMT
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