Letter Re: Rampant Inflation in Steel Products

Dear Jim,
According to the Federal government, the consumer price index (all items less food and energy) rose just 2.4% since May, 2007.

If that’s the case, then I wonder why the [modular steel] cattle panels down at the local farm supply went from $12.99 on May 20, to $18.99 on June 12, and are priced at $27.99 today. That’s a whopping 125% price increase in just 60 days. Call me curious, – Dutch in Wyoming

JWR Replies: I hope that SurvivalBlog readers took the advice that I posted back on May 19th. It bears repeating:

“Of immediate concern is that the increased wholesale price of steel will soon work its way down to the consumer level. So if you are certain about any fencing projects at your retreat in the next two or three years, then buy the materials in advance. (Rolls of woven wire, rolls of barbed wire, smooth wire, T-posts, staples, et cetera.) Consider it part of your Alpha Strategy.”

How many times do I need to say this? Tangibles, tangibles, tangibles! Investing in non-perishable tangibles is the key to sheltering yourself from the ravages of inflation.

One more word of warning that relates to the price of steel: If you plan to buy a gun vault or any other heavy steel manufactured item, then buy it immediately. The increased cost of diesel fuel for trucking and galloping steel prices may soon work together to double or triple the retail price of items like gun vaults. If you find that you have “missed the boat” on vault price increases in your local area, then shop for a used vault, by placing a newspaper or Craigslist want ad. I suspect that it will be a while before the Generally Dumb Public (GDP) catches on, and ups their prices to match the manufacturers and retailers. Ditto for other manufactured heavy steel items such as bench vises, anvils, tractor implements, farm gates, stock panels, and so forth. The clock is ticking.