Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Why its not propoganda and more

USGNN on Wednesday ran a piece on whether the contract glazier thought a glass shortage was happening and quite frankly the answers in there did not surprise me. I did not expect anyone to take it seriously, even though it should be taken as such. But the amazing thing is some of the comments that were made by one of the interviewed parties.

A breakdown of the quotes:

"Raw materials are becoming more expensive, not in less supply.

Really? How exactly do you know that? Are you tapped into the Soda Ash issue that is hampering the float guys right now? It’s an amazing comment. What do you know that we don’t?
“The construction market may be sluggish for a while, which will be good for keeping material costs down, but as the market picks up I see manufacturers charging more for product and using energy costs as a umbrella”

Using energy costs as an umbrella? You mean the fact diesel, natural and automobile gasoline are at insane levels right now- so that’s just an absorbable crutch? You mean in your everyday business you’re not paying more for energy?

"I believe that talk of a glass shortage is more propaganda by manufacturers than an actual problem we would face."

Most people think this way but it’s because they ignore the facts. Let’s review some of them shall we…

1. You have had major float plants down for repairs. Now when a float goes down for repairs it’s not down for 24 hours, its down for weeks and months. Floats are not exactly the simplest to operate. This is without the catastrophic shutdown at PPG’s plant in Texas damaged by the flood- that affects a tremendous amount of capacity.

2. AGC pulled a ton of capacity out of the market when they closed some facilities. The market is not as depressed as some people think (or are experiencing) so people are still buying glass at solid levels.

3. Solar. The need for the solar industry glass wise is huge. Solar projects literally eat glass. As that segment continues growth that too takes capacity away.

As I have noted here and in my upcoming column for USGlass, if I truly believed this was manufacturer BS, I would call it. Believe me; I have never been shy that way. (Ask any of the primaries that know me) At the end of the day, the reason that so many glaziers are not feeling the tightening effects are because the fabricators (and their stellar purchasing people- like the folks I am honored to work with) do amazing things to ensure their branches stay on top the products they need. Someday though, even their best efforts may not be able to get glass when everyone has been so accustomed to getting it.


-- One last comment on the above- so if you realize that raw materials are more expensive, then there should be no problem with price increases right? Somehow I bet there’s a litany of reasons ready for why those aren't necessary either.

-- Hey did you hear John McCain picked the Governor of Alaska as his running mate? Not sure if you heard that, media has been pretty quiet on that angle.

-- Exxon Mobil is running a commercial now touting its efforts in trying to create materials that will wean our need for gas/oil. How come I have hard time believing that is actually happening? It just comes off as a backroom deal of: “Guys let’s do a commercial that we’re working on clean energy advancements- that’ll make the public forget all the BS we hamper them with!”

-- Man I am in a bitter mood.

-- Thankfully Hurricane Gustav did not do the damage that it could of. But now we have 3 more hurricanes to watch and once again we have to keep our fingers crossed that these guys peter out or avoid doing the damage that they could.

-- On the Hurricane coverage side, is it me or does no one pay attention to Mississippi? I realize that New Orleans suffered incredibly with Katrina and it’s still vulnerable. But Mississippi was not spared then and is battling to get back themselves. So the next storm that heads to the Gulf, let’s keep the fine folks of Mississippi in mind.

To the Links…..

-- Is there such a thing as a “Monogamy” gene? Evidently there may be one… so people all over the world now can point to this as an excuse!

-- An elephant scored an 87 on a math exam. I wonder what he thinks of the glass shortage.

-- From my friend BGO… Sumo Wrestlers are in a drug scandal.. but not steroids…

Video of the week:

Don LaFontaine passed away this week. Who is Don LaFontaine? He was one of the most famous voice over guys ever. Known for being the voice of movie trailers and more, his recognizable voice will be missed. Here is a quick interview he gave and you can see the personality and hear the voice.


Kris Vockler said...

Wooohooo....first to post a comment, the plus side to having a feed reader open all day. But if it's open so I can catch your latest post, I just tell "'ol man Vockler to quit busting my hump" (Seinfeld reference), it's all for keeping up on business....even if I'm also following the Huffington Post. ;)

Great post Max, interesting stuff, when I read the article I paused as well and wondered who was right, shortage or no shortage.

Reason I'm really commenting though is DON'T GET ME STARTED ON MCCAIN'S RUNNING WOMAN CHOICE, I'm kinda insulted that he would do this because I think in doing so he might get my chick vote. Sheesh....Obama gets my vote because and only because he wears a suite better. I vote on style only. ;) heheh


Anonymous said...

Am I the only confused republicat thinking that Obama/Palin would have been a great ticket?

Max Perilstein said...

Thanks for following along!
So did you watch Palin's speech- and change of mind?

Anon- someday a "checks and balances" ticket will happen.. I think there's too many moderates that like things that both sides bring.

Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

Don't be fooled about Soda Ash capacity b/c there are plenty of reserves that the producers in WY could start mining. As far as I'm concerned, Soda Ash is a smart/calculating group and (within the last 5 years) have become excellent at controlling supply in order to achieve price premiums.

But don't get me started on the railroads who aren't making soda ash & float glass guys' jobs any easier or more efficient ... railroads are darn near criminal in how they abuse the glass industry.


Max Perilstein said...


Thanks for the post... while there may be reserves, the fact that the owners of those mills aren't hesitatnt to use them still equals a shortage. In addition, Soda Ash has several other uses- and some of those angles are more valuable to the soda ash guys then selling to the float people-
Again its apart of the changing face of things- like solar eating through glass- new uses of soda ash surely affect this too.

Anonymous said...


Any comments on the last Wall Street collapse - Lehman Brothers?

I think about that article you posted about Bear Sterns. I see what's happening to Fannie and Freddie and now Lehman.

I can't help but think that we're fighting a war here - but does the DOD know there is an offensive happening on Wall Street? Is it so out of the realm of possibilities that terrorists are manipulating Wall Street too?