Panic-struck Europeans begin mass food purchase

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The Carrefour supermarket chain, which is widely represented in France, Spain and Italy, said it was not experiencing any scarcity, reports Asian Lite News

Residents of some European countries have begun mass purchases of goods fearful of food shortages due to supply chain disruption amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, British newspaper Financial Times reported on Friday.

In northern Italy, residents are stockpiling pasta en masse, pharmacies in Norway are out of iodine due to security concerns over the Ukrainian nuclear power plants, while trade experts in Germany are recording panic buying of goods, the news outlet said.

“I bought 20 packs of pasta and several kilos of flour last week in preparation for shortages. We’re also looking at converting our backyard into a vegetable garden and a henhouse in order to be self-sufficient in case we go to war and food supplies become scarce,” Italian Sabrina Di Leto was quoted as saying by the media.

Ukraine and Russia remain the world’s leading suppliers of wheat as well as sunflower, rapeseed, linseed and soybeans used for oil and animal feed. Half of the world’s sunflower oil exports come from Ukraine and another 21% from Russia. In Italy, prices of bread, pasta and meat have already risen as the country imports most of its wheat from Eastern Europe and 80% of its sunflower oil from Ukraine, the newspaper said.

At the same time, severe supply shortages will affect poorer countries the most, given a greater dependence on Ukrainian and Russia wheat than in Europe. Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland warned that Somalia, importing 90% of its wheat from Ukraine and Russia, may face acute food insecurity.

“With wheat prices soaring and drought worsening, the number of people that cannot be fed will explode,” Egeland said on Twitter.

However, the panic has not gripped the entire Europe. The Carrefour supermarket chain, which is widely represented in France, Spain and Italy, said it was not experiencing any scarcity.

“There’s been some people stocking up in France, and a bit more in Spain where we’ve sold out of sunflower oil in some places, but overall this behavior remains marginal and the market is functioning pretty much as normal,” Carrefour was quoted as saying by the media. (ANI/Sputnik)

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