Happy New Year to one and all. Now, will it really be a "happy" new year for our industry? Personally and professionally, I do think by year end, we will look back and note that things have turned the corner. However, there are a few landmines that have popped up recently ... that could affect the positivity. Silver: it just hit a 30-year high, and predictions are that it will keep going higher. In fact, I have seen stories talking about silver going up to anywhere from 60 to even 86... (It's sitting now at 28/29). Silver is a pretty important player in a lot of what our industry provides, so a massive price increase will have effects.
In addition, the cost of lumber has been growing as well. I think everyone would love to get materials on returnable and reusable steel racks, but sometimes that's not possible. Major increases in wood also will take a toll. And last on my doomsday opener here: gas. Yep, I have been whining about gas prices for years... and now the predictions are $4 and $5 per gallon gas in the future. Yikes. All in all though I am still positive... it's a great new year ahead and we'll work through all the landmines thrown at us.
- If you missed my year in review, you can find it here.
- Also, if you missed it, the ABI did have a nice finish to the end of the year. Congrats to those of you in the Northeast; man, it looks pretty promising your way.
- This week is the International Builders Show. I am hoping to get there for one quick day. As always, it will be interesting to see the attitude on the floor. That show sometimes can be a pretty decent indicator of the year ahead.
- Did you happen to see the article on China Glass Holdings' expectations that their energy-related products will make up half of their sales by 2012? Right now, that segment is only 10 percent of their work... so of course my thought is at least China is getting and grasping the need for value-added, energy-related products. Also in that article, a very ominous line: "I'm a little worried about new supply in the glass market in 2011. Glass prices will be under pressure this year, although perhaps demand will help keep the falls capped," said Haitong International Securities analyst Zheng Zhihao. Wow, when the Chinese are worried about capacity... that really makes the mind race.
- The fine folks from the Window and Door Dealers Alliance put out a piece here explaining the new tax credit rules for residential windows. I know most people who read this blog are commercial folks, but this question does sometimes cross over, and heck, it's good just to know.
- Also for 2011, I started yet another phase of a lifestyle change... otherwise known as a diet. Since I am now bigger than most offensive linemen in the NFL, and more importantly, I am running out of clothes that fit, I had to get back on the wagon. So much fun just eating like crazy.... Oh well. So with that news, if you have stock in Domino's or M&M Mars, you may want to sell... because their biggest customer is now off the market for awhile.
- Registration is open for Glass Week and BEC. Some very good pieces yet again on tap for that event. If you have never gone or haven't been in a few years, give it a go. It is worth it on several levels.
- Funniest thing I saw during the holidays? When I was in L.A., I saw a van advertising a local plumber. His motto was in all seriousness: "The Smell Good Plumber." I never, ever associated my need for a plumber with the smell he might leave behind.
- By the time many of you read this, the BCS National Championship will have passed... but so I am on record... I am going with Oregon.... I think it's a close first half, but Oregon wears 'em down in the second. Final score: Oregon 41, Auburn 24.
Read on for links and video of the week...
Max Perilstein is chief marketing officer for Vitro America, Memphis. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.