The world has gone mad for clear plastic, particularly 6mm and under. Both our suppliers (Perspex for Acrylic and Amari for Polycarbonate) have seen unprecedented demand in recent weeks which has far outstripped supply. Lead times have gone from next day to next year in many cases as stocks vanish. Offcuts, bound for reprocessing are being turned around and sifted through as other sources dry up. Yes, really.
Thankfully we've been able to secure some stocks, particularly in the thicker, tinted sheets required for hatches. We've invested, but on the basis that with no material we'd not have a business.
Prices have risen, both reflecting manufacturing costs (+6%) but also, particularly for CLEAR as a result of supply and demand constraints (+50%). Some of these increases will have to be passed on, though thankfully material costs are a relatively small element of the work we do, which is predominately labour based.
These are strange times indeed....