With the coronavirus crisis continuing to impact the global community in devastating ways, there are growing concerns that our worldwide supply chains could soon be hit with a massive set of disruptions.
Entire industries have been affected by the pandemic, as close-knit communities of workers and retailers continues to be ravaged by the highly contagious virus with no cure and no vaccine. This has led to shortages of labor, which in turn causes shortages of products, and so on and so forth until parts of the economy come crashing down.
Some of these shortages may seem like a forgone conclusion – Americans have a little freakout and suddenly there’s no toilet paper to be had – but other possible disruptions to the global supply chain may be a bit more surprising.
About one-third of the United States’ garlic supply is imported, and the majority of the imported garlic comes from China, Global Trade magazine reported. Supply chain interruptions in China, Argentina’s rerouting of its garlic exports to Brazil as part of a trade deal and rainstorms that destroyed much of the U.S. domestic crops in 2019 combined to lead to a shortage in supply, Capital Press reported. At the same time, demand has increased with more people cooking at home. Although supply was expected to be back up by the early summer, prices could continue to rise and fall, depending on supply and demand, Today reported.
Combined with the apparent lack of pepperoni, this could make for some boring pizza parties in the coming weeks.
A great many Americans who wished to prepare for the coming trouble themselves had issue providing for themselves, however.
As breadmaking has become a popular stay-at-home activity, producers of dry yeast have struggled to keep up with the demand. John Heilman, vice president of manufacturing for Fleischmann’s Yeast producer AB Mauri, told Slate that there’s been as much as a 600% increase in demand for yeast year over year.
Where the supply chain is falling short is in the packaging. Stateside, Fleischmann’s Yeast is trying to ramp up the number of employees working at the packaging plants, but their ability to package could be affected by factory shutdowns in India, which makes the company’s jars.
And those who couldn’t find the yeast to make their own bread were trying to stock up on food. They, too, had some trouble keeping supplies.
As Americans rushed to stock up on food, many also rushed to the appliance store to buy extra freezers to store their food supply. This has led to freezers selling out at appliance stores across the country. And due to supply chain interruptions, it’s unclear when they will be restocked. Very few appliance companies manufacture their freezers in the United States, and even those that assemble freezers domestically typically rely on parts that are manufactured in China, Mass Live reported. Plus, factories in the U.S. are slowing down production to maintain social distancing guidelines.
There are plenty more items that could soon be in surprisingly short supply in the coming months, should we not get this virus crisis under control.
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