Paint Manufacturers Running Out of the Color Blue

Blue paint shortage.
If you need one of these shades, you're in for a long wait.Getty Stock

Got the blues? Nope, say paint makers in the latest shortage caused by supply chain shortages.

There's another reason to be blue as the global supply chain shortage rages on. The color is in short supply among paint makers.

Chief Executive Officer Thierry Vanlancker of the global paint company Akzo Nobel N.V. says blue is rapidly becoming an impossible shade to find.

"There is one basic color tint that is extremely difficult to get,” he said in an interview Wednesday with Bloomberg News after publishing third-quarter earnings. “It’s creating complete chaos.”

The Netherlands-based manufacturer is also having a hard time getting tinplate, which is used to make metal cans. The company has been shipping empty containers from country to country to fill paint orders. It also suspended deliveries of some exterior paints because the additive that makes them waterproof is not available.

Paint manufacturers have been warning for months that their products, which contain hundreds of added ingredients and chemicals, would cost more and be in short supply because of pandemic delays.

Akzo Nobel said higher prices and shortages are expected to last until the middle of 2022.

Vanlancker said he isn't quite sure why raw material manufacturers are having trouble as demand continues to rise to pre-pandemic levels.

“There isn’t really a reason why this big panic is happening,” the CEO said. “This should be a transient situation that could take six to nine months to get back to normal, but there is no fundamental reason why there would be a lasting supply and demand imbalance.”

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