NewsAnalysis: MIRROR INDUSTRY
Mirror Industry a Reﬂection
of Glass Economy
upply and demand has put its economics are in place.When demand is
In mid-2010, the ﬂat glass index saw
stamp on the United States’mir- greater than supply, it impacts the price a half-decade low of 110.0 but has since
ror manufacturing industry.
of the product. Prices for ﬂat glass have risen to nearly 130.9 in May of this year,
Drew Mayberry, president of Lenoir gone up, and passing that along to our with its most drastic hike happening over
Mirror, says the biggest issue facing the customers has been difﬁcult.”
the last 12 months.
The mirror index remained mostly
domestic sector is the availability of ﬂat
glass—and its effect on cost.
According to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, most recent Producer Prod- steady in the few years after 2010 but
“It has created a real challenge for us, uct Index report, ﬂat glass prices have dipped in early 2014 before spiking
trying to balance the availability with our increased nearly 7 percent from May nearly 17 percent from April 2014 to
customer demands,”he says.“The laws of 2015 to May 2016.
April 2016. Prices started this year at
an index of 180.2—another 2.5 per-
cent higher than the April ﬁgure.
Mayberry says the economic factors at
play have forced his company to take a
hard look at the businesses it’s servicing.
“We’ve focused our business on the
customers who have always paid their
bills and have used products and ser-
vices we can manage,” he says. “If it’s
something that’s been difﬁcult to pro-
cess, we’ve stepped away from it.
“And that works in reverse, too. The
amount of glass we’re getting has been
driven in part with how we’ve been
able to pay our bills. I have a suspicion
that other companies buying from ﬂoat
producers that haven’t done as good of
a job paying their bills, probably have a
tougher time getting glass.”
The limited domestic supply may
impact smaller shops more.Businesses
that service a large amount of mirror
have the option of importing stock
sheets of the product, since it comes
overseas in large container loads.
Asia has been a major exporter of
mirror stock sheets over the past two
decades. Marc Deschamps of Walker
Glass says this ramped up in the early
000s and drove his company, which
was very proﬁcient in the mirror busi-
ness, to develop new products and di-
versify.The trend of imported mirror
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
*The PPI program measures the average change over time in the selling prices has since maintained its course.
received by domestic producers for their output.
The U.S. imported $907.5 million in
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | July 2016