Unable to restock, Cheness Cutlery is bowing out of the sword industry and are in the process of closing out their last stock before they enter the annals of sword history. Hanwei Forge has almost NO SWORDS left in their inventory - almost every popular design is sold out. Ronin Katana, having sold out almost all their stock, actually closed their doors last month and are opening ahead of a planned restock on the 9th of June. Kingston Arms only have one sword (their least popular) left in stock. Restock ETA is not yet clear. Ryujin Swords have no stock of their flagship Custom Katana series, and nearly everything else. Restock was planned for last month.. Darksword Armory are flooded with orders and now have an average turnaround time of 1 month to process and ship an order (when until 2020, it was less than a week). With dwindling stock like everyone else, official distributor Windlass Steelcrafts RAISES their prices as scarcity gut punches the sword market. Kult of Athena's restock of Balaur Arms sells out in a few DAYS - suggesting it will be a very long time before anything popular can stay in stock long enough to meet demand. KoA are also about a month behind on their sharpening service (and recently were hit by Covid, making a difficult situation even harder than ever before).. Forges in China are focusing on restocking stainless steel junk swords, taking away resources from production of functional swords and pushing restock times back to unprecedented levels. Forges in China are also experiencing an inability to supply saya for Katana to meet demand, resulting in most custom Lonquan sword makers stuck in Limbo and custom orders that used to take 3 months now taking over a year.. Same with US based makers such as Albion (wait times now well over a year) and Valiant Armory (from 6 months to 6-12 months). At the same time, the typical shipment methods from Longquan have become totally unreliable (EMS) or have changed their policies to prohibit 'weapon' exports (SF Express) leaving only high end couriers at 4 times the shipping price.. USPS shipments of swords internationally are taking many weeks longer than usual, with many issues related to stalled and lost shipments. This is also occurring domestically as the worldwide postal system literally starts to burst at the seams.. All in all, it's a perfect storm - almost no stock anywhere, restocks badly delayed and custom sword makers falling so far behind they are almost being forced to shut their doors to avoid total overload.. If I had to guess, I would say that there will be a series of short lived restocks, dramatic price rises, and eventually a glut of swords and large scale sell offs until stock returns to sustainable levels. In the short term, many of the smaller sword manufacturers and vendors are unlikely to survive this period - and my guess is that by this time next year, the sword industry will start to stabilize again and return to a 'new normal' (though the chances of higher baseline prices is pretty much a given). Time will tell, but whichever way it goes, right now is definitely a very hard time for the industry - with high demand and nothing left to sell, as mentioned a few months ago - be on the lookout for scammers looking to try and fill the pent up demand with knockoffs and false promises..