Angel Albring | Special to the Press-Tribune
If you were hoping to light up the skies this Fourth of July, you may be out of luck if you haven’t already done your fireworks shopping.
Fireworks distributors are reporting that the supply they have received this year is very limited because of shipping delays and manufacturing plants being shut down in China during the pandemic.
Additionally, freight costs have gone up around 150 percent from this time last year, meaning that fireworks costs have also gone up.
The owner of Uncle Sam’s Fireworks, Wayner Reed, says the price of fireworks has gone up and that demand is high, but supply is low. This has led to fireworks sellers upping their prices to stay afloat.
“China raised their prices and shipping has more than doubled,” Reed said. “Last season we were giving a 20 percent discount. We cut that back to 10 percent.”
A report by NPR states that some fireworks have had massive price increases, and almost all of them have increased at least 20 percent.
“For instance, the door-sized, 100-lb party assortment right in front of Daniel, called the Godfather is going for $649.99 this year, up $100 from last year. Retail fireworks are up 20 to 25 percent this year, and still selling briskly,” the report said.
According to Statista, 94 percent of fireworks come from China. In 2019, 273 million pounds of fireworks were used in the United States, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. Last year, it was 404.5 million pounds as the pandemic canceled most fireworks shows and other events that people normally spend money on.
Distributors order for their stores and stands a year in advance, and many are being asked to order for next summer, already, because the supply is so much lower than current demand.
This year, a large portion of sellers ordered double what they normally do, anticipating numbers like last year’s surge. However, sales are already higher than what they were in 2020 and many distributors are anticipating selling out of the bigger fireworks before the holiday arrives, so they are urging consumers to get their fireworks now.