Spain allows rationing products in case of market stress to prevent shortages By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A pair takes some milk in a Caprabo grocery store in Barcelona, Spain, March 21, 2022. REUTERS/ Albert Gea/File Photograph


MADRID (Reuters) – Spain quickly authorised shops on Wednesday to restrict the sale of some products to prevent sell-outs when markets are beneath stress, days after some supermarkets ran out of sunflower oil and milk.

Supermarkets had been calling for authorized backing for such rationing, which was introduced by the federal government has half of an emergency bundle to mitigate the financial fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and can be in place till June 30.

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The transfer got here after the conflict in Ukraine and a three-week truckers’ strike led to sporadic shortages of staples akin to eggs, milk, flour and sunflower oil, although shortages had been usually brought on extra by hoarding than by precise provide disruptions.

“It gives authorized backing in order that they will restrict the quantity of articles and thus keep away from hoarding, however above all, so that there’s truthful entry for all shoppers,” Commerce Minister Reyes Maroto informed reporters.

Some supermarkets in Greece and Italy have been limiting the portions clients should buy of some staples after seeing demand rise due to worries the Ukraine battle might disrupt provides.

Spanish authorities and grocery store associations warned in opposition to panic purchases throughout a transport strike that began on March 14. Though one affiliation has not referred to as off the strike but, it has misplaced momentum after the federal government granted a 1 billion euro ($1.10 billion) assist bundle.

Two years in the past, as European governments had been getting ready lockdowns to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, some Spanish supermarkets rationed some products in response to panic-buying of objects akin to bathroom paper, however the authorities didn’t sanction it.

Earlier this month, client affiliation Facua sued some Spanish supermarkets for breaking the regulation after they restricted the acquisition of sunflower oil to a couple of bottles per particular person. Ukrainian sunflower oil accounted for 40% of imports.

“We’re additionally responding to a necessity that the distribution sector has expressed to us and which has turn out to be clear with the current transport strike,” Maroto added.

Dairy farmers and trade affiliation Inlac, which stopped manufacturing in the course of the strike as milk couldn’t be transported, mentioned on Wednesday they hoped provides can be again to regular in between three days and every week’s time.

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