Shooters will soon be feeling the trickle-down effects of higher-priced components in clay targets, according to White Flyer Targets, manufacturer of the clay targets used by many clubs across the country. Phil Murray of White Flyer explained the necessity for the cost increase in recent letters to its distributors and gun clubs:
March 13, 2018
Dear White Flyer Distributor,
As many of you are aware the aluminum industry has recently experienced a major revitalization. In the aluminum manufacturing process, pitch plays a significant role in the smelting of the ore. Because of this revitalization, the aluminum industry has now become a much larger consumer of pitch. Consequently, pitch pricing has risen dramatically over the past six months. Although the price has risen significantly White Flyer has long term volume contracts and the amount of pitch available to White Flyer is more than sufficient for our production needs.
As a result of above, White Flyer Targets finds it necessary to announce a price increase for its full line of targets. All orders presently on the White Flyer books as of today March 13 and shipping before April 1 will be at OLD White Flyer pricing. All orders placed today March 13 and beyond will have new White Flyer pricing. We regret any inconvenience that this may cause your gun clubs and customers but this new pricing became absolutely necessary.
The pricing of our Biodegradable Targets has also had a MODERATE increase due to increase in production costs plus the rising cost of raw materials that go into the Bio Target. We trust that you will understand our reasons for these increases being passed on.
Although other target companies announced price increases in early February due to this pitch crisis, White Flyer has tried to hold off as long as possible before implementing these price increases. Unfortunately, we can no longer delay these actions. We certainly appreciate the role our distributors play for White Flyer, your support and input continues to make White Flyer #1. We ask that once you receive this new pricing that you contact each of your customers to let them know the
We sincerely appreciate your consideration and understanding on this issue.
White Flyer Targets
March 16, 2018
Dear White Flyer Distributor/Gun Club,
Many of you have expressed some concern regarding the recent price increase. We are also concerned that we were forced to increase cost of targets due to raw materials. This isn’t the first time we have seen a spike in pitch prices. In late 2011 one of our suppliers shut down due to a fire drastically reducing the available pitch which drove prices to a record level. At that time we had to take $1.00 per case increase. Months later the prices started dropping and we immediately lowered our pricing by $.40. A year later raw material prices dropped again and we passed on an additional $.45 per case decrease .We haven’t had a price adjustment since the end of 2014.
The reason for the current price increase is tied directly to the aluminum market. Several years ago China flooded the market with cheap aluminum products in Europe and North America. When that happened aluminum plants in these areas where forced to shut down because they could not compete with the lower prices. The aluminum market uses pitch to manufacture the carbon electrodes which are used to smelt the ore.Additionally,the pitch plants either shut down or drastically reduced their productions. Fast forward to today and with our thriving economy the demand for high quality aluminum has created a comeback for the North American and European aluminum industry. The reemerging industry is consuming the same pitch we use in our targets; however the refineries have not scaled up pitch production accordingly. Since Europe is experiencing a similar situation it has forced them to use less than desirable and expensive pitch alternatives in their targets. White Flyer wants to continue to deliver high quality targets to all of our customers and we will not cut corners with cheap raw materials. Raw materials are the largest component in the cost of manufacturing targets and history shows that our pricing tracks with the cost of those raw materials. In addition to the increases White Flyer has also taken four decreases since 2008. If we had not taken those decreases the cost of targets would already be above what was announced on March 13th. If pitch production increases and prices drop, White Flyer as we have done in the past will pass those savings along to the consumer.
For over 125 years White Flyer has done our best to deliver high quality targets that shooters have demanded. We continue to support the shooting world by sponsoring more events and organizations that any other target manufacturer. We sincerely appreciate your consideration and understanding on this issue.
White Flyer Targets