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COVID-19 2nd Wave | Essentials become costlier due to hoarding, disrupted supply chains: Report

Delayed deliveries and rising demand due to anxious customers stocking for hard times has led to jump in prices of pulses, cooking oils, masks, sanitisers and oximetres.

April 23, 2021 / 12:18 PM IST
Kirana stores told the paper that less number of staff and shorter window of operations in Mumbai is leading to delay and cancellations. In Maharashtra, physical store timings are restricted from 7 am to 11 am and deliveries till 8 pm. (Image: Getty Images)

Kirana stores told the paper that less number of staff and shorter window of operations in Mumbai is leading to delay and cancellations. In Maharashtra, physical store timings are restricted from 7 am to 11 am and deliveries till 8 pm. (Image: Getty Images)

Prices of essential goods have risen despite availability as supply chains were disrupted due to the multiple mini-lockdowns across the country, necessitated due to the resurgent second wave of COVID-19 cases in India.

In fact, availability is better than 2020, when the pandemic first broke out, but hoarding and broken supply chains have led to severe shortages, the Hindustan Times reported.

Delayed deliveries and rising demand due to anxious customers stocking for hard times has led to jump in prices of pulses, cooking oils, masks, sanitisers and oximetres, it noted.

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Kirana stores told the paper that fewer number of staff and shorter window of operations in Mumbai was leading to delay and cancellations. In Maharashtra, physical store timings are restricted from 7 am to 11 am and deliveries till 8 pm.

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In Delhi, customers complained of fruits and vegetables becoming costlier and customers in Bengaluru said even local supermarkets were out of stock.

Meanwhile, customers experienced delays in order deliveries across platforms such as Amazon, BigBasket and Grofers, irrespective of city.

A spokesperson for BigBasket told the paper that orders have surged amid the second COVID-19 wave. “We had worked on increasing our capacity and building infrastructure throughout last year and in early 2021. As a result, BigBasket is making deliveries in all our operating cities, albeit with extended timelines in some cities due to unexpectedly high demand and movement curbs,” they added.

Supply chain disruptions seem to be the biggest problem, but there is also a problem of hoarding – though, Indians are not hoarding as much as 2020.

What has increased how much?

>> Mustard oil is up by 10-15 percent in Delhi and Chandigarh, as per distributors and wholesalers.

>> Price of pulses and rice has risen 8-10 percent in the last few days.

>> Supply of cooking oils has become scarcer.

>> Milk and wheat prices are also rising.

>> Prices of some oximetre models rose by almost Rs 1,000 from Rs 1,999 to Rs 2,499 on e-commerce platforms.

>> Price hikes are “very local” and not uniform across India, the report noted.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 23, 2021 12:18 pm

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