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Another milk powder shortage 

15 Dec 2021

  • Importers blame continuing forex crisis
  • Earliest shipment to arrive in Feb. 2022
  • Demands further price hike 
    By Imsha Iqbal and Shenal Fernando  There appears to be a shortage of imported milk powder once again in the market, led by the current foreign exchange crisis the country is facing, even though the initial prediction of the importers was that the shortage will begin only from January next year, The Morning Business learns.  Speaking to us, an industry source said on Monday (13): “Most of the importers cannot get the consignments of milk powder because of the restrictions on the USD. I think most companies have placed the order but there is a delay due to the forex crisis.”  However, the source stated that this milk powder shortage would ease probably in February 2022 as some of the shipments are to reach the country at the end of January in 2022.  As a response to a Tweet that questioned the availability of the milk powder in the market, a user said: “No milk powder at least where I look, replaced by ample stock of kiri te (mix of milk powder, sugar, and tea) and liquid milk.”  Accordingly, the substitutes and related products to the milk powder are the products that can be found in the market, whereas, regular milk powder for regular consumer consumption was said to be unavailable.  Further, responding to that, another Twitter user said: “No milk powder in Dehiwala area,” confirming that even the markets of suburbs of Colombo did not have stocks of milk powder.  Additionally, the milk powder importers’ sources hinted of a possible price hike of the product in the upcoming months, pointing out that it is not possible for the industry to survive while running on losses.  Earlier this week, speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, explaining that the price hike is, in fact, not due to the Government of Sri Lanka but because of the supply chain disruptions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, an importer expressed the aforesaid issue: “You can’t blame the Government for the increase of the milk powder prices and the shipping prices, as both are due to the world market prices. We only ask the Government to help us on the dollar issue.” 

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