Food shortages: UK to 'compromise' on branded goods says expert
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Shortages of goods are causing havoc across the globe, with few sectors left untouched by the ripple effects of energy and worker shortages blight countries as they attempt to return to normal in the tail end of the coronavirus pandemic. Coal and natural gases are all in short supply this winter, resulting in heavier costs and disruption to many ordinary people around the world.
China – coal
China, the world’s largest producer of goods, is feeling the pinch as the fuel crisis deepens.
More than 20 of China’s provinces have experienced power cuts due to a lack of energy – China has a strict energy cap in place to protect consumers, meaning heightened costs cannot be passed on, resulting in energy companies reducing output altogether.
Factories have therefore been asked to reduce the amount of energy used – something that is having a knock-on effect in China and around the world.
READ MORE: UK food prices hiked again – full list of British brands
India – computer chips
India is struggling with the worldwide computer chip shortage, which has seen production plummet in major car factories.
Worldwide demand for the chips – which are also used in phones and computers – was already rising before the pandemic, because of the adoption of 5G technology.
Fuel shortages are yet again to blame for the issues in India – with coal stocks struggling against increased prices while India’s imports fell.
USA – toys and toilet paper
Like the UK, the USA is experiencing a shortage of toys just before Christmas arrives.
Bottlenecks at US ports have led to long queues and therefore issues in getting supplies out across the country.
As well as this, shortages are also being caused by ongoing coronavirus related issues in the USA and its trade partners.
UK – turkeys and trees
Labour shortages have impacted the British Poultry Sector – with almost 7,000 vacancies.
Farmers have warned of a potential Christmas turkey shortage, despite efforts to change visas and allow recruitment from elsewhere.
Christmas trees may also be in shorter supply this year, again due to labour shortages but also shipping costs and post-Brexit labour regulations.
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Brazil – coffee and water
Brazil is currently experiencing the most severe drought in almost a century, resulting in poor coffee harvest for the world’s largest exporters.
This is combined with frosts affecting the sowing of coffee, as well as high shipping costs and a shortage of containers.
The result is rising costs of coffee – something soon likely to be felt in the UK and other countries.
Nigeria – cooking gas
In Nigeria, there are shortages of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) – primarily used to cook with.
Prices skyrocketed by 60 percent between April and July – meaning many could no longer afford to buy gas.
Instead, residents have opted for firewood or charcoal to cook with.
Lebanon – water and medicine
Concerns are growing over shortages of water and key medicines in Lebanon as the country battles an economic crisis.
In total three-quarters of the population of Lebanon have been pushed into poverty by the crisis, which has crippled its economy and caused widespread demonstrations against the Government.
Fuel shortages have caused issues accessing healthcare and water for millions of people in the country, all of which has been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
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