PMA Report Highlights Long Lead Times for Steel

Written by Sandy Williams

Lead times for steel and other materials continued to lengthen in March, said 60% of metalforming firms in the latest Precision Metalforming Association Business Conditions Report. Lead times have lengthened each month since September 2020 when 16% of PMA members reported longer lead times.

“Metalforming manufacturers are seeing an uptick in business, but their ability to meet the demands of their customers is threatened by severe and growing supply problems,” said PMA President David Klotz. “Lead times for steel, aluminum, copper, brass and other metals are steadily increasing, and prices continue to rise. PMA continues to call on the Biden administration to terminate the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, which no longer are needed and are one of the main causes for chaos in the market.”

The industry was optimistic about business conditions for the next three months with 54% of respondents expecting an increase in new orders compared to 48% in February. Average daily shipping levels rose from February to March for 63% of those surveyed and remained the same for 20%.

About 5% of metalforming companies reported some workforce on short time or layoff in March, up slightly from 4% in February and 14% a year ago. About 58% percent of respondents said they expect to expand their workforce in the next three months, slipping slightly from 60% in February.

The Precision Metalforming Association represents the metalforming industry of North America, serving over 800 member companies including suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry. Metalformers create precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes. The Business Conditions Report is prepared monthly as an economic indicator for manufacturing and samples 112 metalforming companies in the U.S. and Canada.

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