Fireworks are latest supply shortage

The 4th of July holiday may not be quite as bright this year.

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A year after the coronavirus pandemic snuffed out large, public fireworks demonstrations, this year the celebration of America’s birthday may be low key because of a firework shortage.

With the holiday weekend only days away, those wanting to celebrate with a bang are finding higher prices, limited supplies or empty shelves, NBC News reported.

Industry watchers said that supplies may be down about 30% because of supply chain issues.

Last year, US firework imports, which mostly came from China, sat at about 255 million pounds and reach firm IHS Markit said last year set a sales record at nearly $2 billion.

Crunching the numbers, if the shortage trend continues, there could be a 76 million pound firework shortage.

For those who are lucky enough to find the pyrotechnic supplies they want, they’re finding higher prices.

Jason Lewis drove over three states looking for fireworks and when he found them, he was charged more than prior years.

“At one stand in Texas, he had one 500-gram repeater I saw last year for $40. He wanted $115. I looked at him and said, ‘I’m done, I’ll go somewhere else.’ But little did I know it was the same everywhere,” Lewis told NBC News.

Phantom Fireworks, the largest retailer in the country are telling people to shop early, USA Today reported.

“Like many other industries, the fireworks industry has also experienced delays due to shipment challenges facing the global market,” Alan Zoldan, Phantom’s executive vice president, told USA Today in a statement. “The good news is that we prepared early in anticipation of high demand again this year, and we are encouraging Phantom customers to do the same.”