Chicken wings, diapers, cars, gas and more: Here are the items experiencing shortages or price increases

Global supply chain disrupted by pandemic
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Posted at 1:27 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 18:52:22-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Much of the U.S. is reopening after more than a year of closures and mask mandates following the coronavirus pandemic.

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate as the country sees more people become vaccinated, and we all resume a return to normalcy.


However, one of the biggest sticking points of the resurging economy and job outlook is the shortage of some products and a rise in prices.

Much of this stems from the disruption of the supply chain over the last 14 months after many industries either closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or reduced production due to lower demand.

1. Cars

A worldwide computer chip shortage has led to slowed car production along with temporary factory shutdowns earlier this year.

Industry analysts said last month the chip shortage could last through the end of the year and possibly into 2022.

General Motors, Ford and Toyota have had to cut production this year because of the global shortage of chips.

Because of the shortage of new cars, this has had a ripple effect on the price of new and used cars.

Also, the vehicle shortage is having an impact on travelers as they look to book rental cars for their summer vacations. It could be the fall before rental car prices return to normal across the country.

MORE: Workforce shortage contributing to a product shortage, experts say

A long line of unsold 2021 Silverado pickup trucks sits at a Chevrolet dealership Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

2. Gas

The country was already facing a shortage of truck drivers to deliver gas before this month's ransomware attack of the Colonial Pipeline by cybercriminals.

The shortage of gas on the East Coast is largely resolved but prices remain high for a variety of reasons.

Many drivers hoarded gas this month over fears of a long-term outage of the pipeline, which caused an increased strain on the supply chain.

"This is the worst panic buying for gasoline since the Carter Administration," Tom Kloza the global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service told USA Today.

Also, now that most states are reopened, more people are driving and traveling, fueling the demand for gasoline.

The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline jumped eight cents over the past two weeks to $3.10 per gallon.

Gas station in West Palm Beach, no regular fuel on May 12, 2021
No regular fuel was available at a Marathon gas station on Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach, Fla., on May 12, 2021.

3. Chicken

With the opening of the economy and a number of fast-food restaurants introducing chicken sandwiches, that's helping to cause the country's poultry shortage.

Suppliers also say they are having a hard time hiring employees to work and process the birds.

Factor all that in and you have a shortage of chicken products.

Thirsty Turtle Seagrill, with locations in Port St. Lucie and Juno Beach, announced this month it is no longer including wings in its happy-hour pricing.

The National Chicken Council said chicken production was disrupted by the winter storm that hit Texas in February, creating a 4 percent decrease in supply during the first quarter of 2021.

4. Toilet paper, diapers

Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the maker of a variety of personal care products, including Kleenex facial tissue, Kotex feminine hygiene products and toilet paper brands, said March 31 that it was raising the prices of some of its products.

The company cited the rising cost of commodities for the decision, saying it was hurting profits.

Consumers can expect to see the increase in prices start by late June. This will impact the company's prices of baby and child care products and Scott bathroom tissue.

5. Chlorine

There was a jump in demand for chlorine as coronavirus pandemic-related lockdowns kept families at home. This was caused by residents staying at home more and enjoying their own pools while those open to the public were closed.

The supply of chlorine has been low during the colder months, but as the weather heated up this spring, demand increased for pool and spa supplies.

In a Goldman Sachs reporton the chlorine shortage, they said pool owners should be prepared for a 58% price jump in chlorine this summer compared with last summer.

Home under construction in Simi Valley, Calif.
A sign sits in front of a KB Home construction site, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Simi Valley, Calif. U.S. homebuilders are poised to benefit this spring homebuying season amid strong demand, low mortgage rates and an all-time low inventory of previously occupied homes for sale. But soaring lumber prices and a shortage of construction-ready land could limit builders’ ability to capitalize on the strong housing market trends, analysts say.

6. Lumber

Lumber prices have more than doubled over the past year.

Experts say the nationwide COVID lockdown, forced commercial sawmills, furniture manufacturers and homebuilders to temporarily shut down.

That caused a shortage of cut and finished lumber across the country.

This could have ramifications this hurricane season since there is always a rush to buy plywood at stores if a storm is forecast to hit Florida.

The prices of many things have increased in the past few months. The Consumer Price Index rose 0.8 percent from March to April -- higher than the 0.2 percent that was expected.