Bracing for a record pool chlorine shortage in summer 2021

A nationwide chlorine shortage might take some enjoyable out of the summer for pool homeowners and swimmers.

Supplies of chlorine tablets used to deal with swimming pools and sizzling tubs have been drying up — due a pandemic-related growth and a fireplace at a main chemical plant in Louisiana.

The huge blaze hit one of many nation’s largest suppliers of chlorine throughout Hurricane Laura in August, hampering manufacturing of the sanitizing tabs.

Surging demand for chlorine — attributable to a spike in householders putting in swimming pools throughout the coronavirus pandemic — has additionally been worrying trade insiders.

Pool provide firms have been sounding the alarm in regards to the shortage, which is starting to indicate up in {the marketplace}.

For instance, a 50-pound bucket of chlorine tablets from the In the Swim model used to promote for $109. It’s now sold out on Amazon and promoting for $154.99 on the company’s website.

The increase in backyard pools during the pandemic is causing the price of chlorine tablets to rise.
The enhance in yard swimming pools throughout the pandemic is inflicting the value of chlorine tablets to rise.
Boston Globe by way of Getty Images

B&B Pool and Spa Center, a Chestnut Ridge, New York-based retailer, warns on its website that the nationwide shortage of chlorine will doubtless final by the 2021 season. 

“A steep price increase is likely. The extent of the chlorine shortage is still unknown,” the corporate mentioned.

While it’s nonetheless early in the season, suppliers are advising pool homeowners to organize now.

“That includes stocking up on chemicals needed to get you through the majority, if not the entire swimming season,” B&B Pool and Spa Center wrote.

Swim retailer PoolSupplyWorld suggests other options for preserving water clear, together with switching to a saltwater system, or contemplating chlorine options, equivalent to an ozone generator, Bromine or mineral purifiers. 

Liquid chlorine, which is more laborious than utilizing the tablets, nonetheless seems extensively obtainable — and is also a good choice to keep away from paying practically double the usual price for the tabs.

Pool chlorine tablets may be hard to come by this summer.
Pool chlorine tablets could also be onerous to return by this summer.
Alamy Stock Photo

Peter Arven, CEO of Covington, Louisiana-based Pool Corp, a wholesale distributor of swimming pool provides, mentioned final month that costs for chlorine tablets have been up about 60 %.

He advised buyers that pool homeowners would possibly get artistic this summer about the way to clear their swimming pools, including that “there’s no shortage of ways to sanitize the pool.” He mentioned folks would possibly transfer to liquid merchandise or a saltwater system, if they’ll get a maintain of somebody to put in it.

Goldman Sachs analyst Kate McShane warned final week that costs are rising and are prone to stay excessive by peak pool season.

She mentioned the price of chlorine was up 37 % in March in contrast with final yr. She added that pool homeowners can count on to pay about 58 % extra for chlorine this summer than they did final yr.

“Of the 26 pool shops we spoke to, 15 expressed uncertainty or doubt when asked about whether they will have enough chlorine for pool season,” McShane wrote in a word to purchasers.

“When asked about whether the cost and availability of chlorine have improved in the last month or so, several respondents noted that while the supply of chlorine has improved somewhat, cost has not.”

Pool owners are being advised to stock up on chlorine tablets now before the summer.
Pool homeowners are being suggested to fill up on chlorine tablets now earlier than the summer.
The Washington Post by way of Getty Images

The shortage is starting to hit company earnings, too. John Swygert, CEO of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, which sells items from houseware to sporting items and pool provides, mentioned that every one areas of its enterprise are up because the economic system recovers from the pandemic. But if there’s one space that “you had to say is worse, or a shortage, or a challenge, it’s one item: it’s pool chlorine.”

“Pool chlorine is not easy to get and there’s a chlorine shortage nationally that we’re all going to have to deal with,” Swygert mentioned in March on the corporate’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings name with buyers. 

Michael Egeck, CEO of Leslie’s, a Phoenix, Arizona-based pool provides firm, warned buyers in February of “widespread industry shortages,” however added that Leslie’s has sturdy supply-chain relationships in place to assist it climate the tight summer season.

“With regard to retail pricing, it is a fact that we are seeing increases across the industry,” he mentioned.

A chlorine shortage may make it hard for some pools to stay open this summer.
A chlorine shortage might make it onerous for some swimming pools to remain open this summer.
Universal Images Group by way of Getty

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