The recent Quarterly Production Report of the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association contained both good and bad news for those wondering if the US construction industry was escaping the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The good news: shipments of asphalt shingles and polymer-modified bituminous membranes rose at a double-digit pace in the third quarter of 2021, boosted by continuing high levels of new housing activity and strong homeowner interest in completing home improvement projects, such as replacing older or worn roofs. This strong demand is good news for the construction industry and the US economy as a whole, as a tight housing market and consumer willingness to spend on fixing and renovating homes means that many have the means (and desire) to buy or remodel their homes – and will continue to do so going forward.
The bad news: compared to last year, shipments of asphalt shingles and bituminous membranes declined in the third quarter of 2021, a contrast from the increases seen in the second quarter. Manufacturers attributed this decline in production due to supply chain issues in obtaining key raw materials, such as asphalt, fiberglass matting (used as the base for many shingles and membranes), and ceramic and mineral granules used to coat these products. Furthermore, the cost of these products has risen – and will continue to do so – forcing manufacturers to pass on these costs to consumers. At a time when so many other prices are rising, continuing price hikes may cause some homeowners to delay reroofing projects or cause potential home buyers to put off home purchases until they become more affordable.
Freedonia experts will continue to monitor the roofing industry, as well the US construction sector as a whole, as it contends with supply chain issues, such as the availability of raw materials and bottlenecks in production and transportation.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly our series of Roofing studies in the Construction and Building Products catalog. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.