5 Items Currently Facing Shortages – Forbes Advisor

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from affiliate links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect the opinions and evaluations of our editors.

The supply chain continues to struggle to meet demand.

The peak of the Covid-19 pandemic has passed for several months, but the deviations in the supply chain have yet to be revealed. Many industries face production capabilities and demand mismatches; widespread inflation doesn’t help either.

As a result, consumers face shortages of products from paper to pharmaceuticals, and these shortages can have a detrimental impact on daily life.

While some experts are hopeful that the supply chain can reach more “normal” levels next year, others warn against being too optimistic.

5 Products Currently Facing a Famine

1. Paper

One of the most essential products is currently in shortage.

When the Covid pandemic hit, life was strained indoors and online. Paper demand, in turn, decreased in US production. According to ERA Forest Products Research’s comment in the Seattle Times, many paper mills have turned to produce packaging and cardboard to keep up with the new addiction to online shopping during the pandemic, resulting in a nearly 20% reduction in production capacity from 2019.

But as the quarantines eased, demand for paper products increased and factories struggled to return to pre-pandemic production levels. Many factories that switch to packaging cannot easily return to paper production.

Throwing fuel on fire raises inflation, which makes paper making more expensive. According to Business Insider, raw material costs to produce paper have increased significantly, raising the price of paper by up to 60%.

How to deal with: If you are a business owner looking for a specific type of paper for marketing materials or inventory, ask your local printing company or paper supplier what other options are available. If you buy the occasional paper to fill your printer at home, you may see an increase in price. Consider switching to a cheaper brand if available. If you’re someone who buys paper online, remember that many e-commerce brands use real-time dynamic pricing, which causes prices to fluctuate constantly. Use price tracking apps like CamelCamelCamel or Shopify to determine if you clicked the buy button during the price peak.

Also Read :  China's Economy: The Outlook After Zero-COVID

2. Diesel

According to CBS News, US diesel and gasoline stockpiles are currently short of supply. Numerous factors are contributing to the supply shortage, including the war in Ukraine, refinery closures, natural disasters, and the Philadelphia refinery explosion.

You may have heard that there are only 25 days of diesel left in the US. However, this does not mean that the country is on the verge of extinction; analysts point out far from this. This alarming figure is only likely if every oil refinery in the country shuts down at once, which is out of the question, analysts say.

How to deal with: The best way to manage the current diesel shortage is to resist panic buying; collectively, panic buying can further deplete a dwindling supply. Scarcity may decrease as demand cools, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when that might happen.

3. Some Prescription Drugs

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are struggling to meet needs. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some commonly used drugs are currently in shortage, causing a lot of stress for patients and healthcare professionals:

  • Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution: It is used to treat symptoms of asthma, emphysema, and other respiratory conditions.
  • Amoxicillin: This antibiotic is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, including RSV, which is now an emerging respiratory disease.
  • turmeric: There is a shortage of compounds used to make Adderall, a drug used to manage ADHD symptoms.
  • Epinephrine Automatic Injector (EpiPen): TThe drug is used to treat severe anaphylactic allergic reactions.

How to deal with: In some cases, stopping a prescription medication unexpectedly can lead to harmful health effects. For example, Adderall is a stimulant – this means that patients can experience drastic withdrawals if they stop cold turkey. If a medicine you trust is scarce, discuss with your doctor or pharmacist whether there are any substitutes that are suitable for your prescriptions.

Also Read :  Better Business Bureau Offers Tips For Homeowners Affected By Flooding

4. Infant Formula

Despite the efforts of the federal government, the country continues to grapple with a shortage of baby food.

The famine resulted from the temporary closure of a major formula factory in Michigan after contamination of certain products caused bacterial infections in four infants, two of whom died. The discovery also led to the recall of some formulas made at the same factory, which worsened the already tense supply.

The Biden administration introduced the Defense Production Act to speed up formula production. Despite this, government officials said in early November that baby food hits shelves “apparently there is still a problem” and that it will take time to clear the shortage.

How to deal with: Because every baby’s needs are different and every family’s resources are different, there is no comprehensive answer to how parents can deal with food shortages. The Department of Health and Human Services says most babies “will be fine” with different brand formulas as long as they’re made from the same foundation.

Forbes Health has a comprehensive guide to safely addressing a baby food shortage, as well as a guide for replacing a baby’s formula.

5. Butter

We are not yet in an official butter shortage. But experts warn that butter supply is dwindling ahead of the busy baking and cooking holiday season.

The biggest culprit threatening the butter supply is milk production, the main ingredient of butter. The number of dairy cows decreased as it became more expensive to raise and keep them.

According to data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), US butter production is on a downward trend this year.

A smaller supply and continued consumer demand have driven the cost of butter up by about 27% year-over-year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s latest Consumer Price Index report. For the week ending October 29, the average price of a kilo of butter was $3.14; Around the same time last year, it was under $2.

Also Read :  How the BlockFi bankruptcy, FTX collapse may affect your crypto taxes

How to deal with: The worst move consumers can make is to start buying butter in a panic. Because supplies are scarce – but there is no official shortage – bulk panic buying can trigger a real shortage. If you find yourself in a pinch without the butter, there are substitutes that can work in some recipes, including pumpkin puree and applesauce.

For other uses, there are vegan butter alternatives like Earth Balance and Miyoko’s that look like real butter and not the plastic margarine alternatives of yesteryear. Most stores also carry imported brands of butter, such as Kerrygold, but they often carry a high price tag.

Are Famines the New Normal?

Persistent shortages may cause consumers to wonder if these supply disruptions are the new normal. But experts see a light at the end of the supply chain tunnel.

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused serious turmoil in supply chains as quarantine measures have restricted production. The global supply chain is so tightly interconnected that these knots still take time to unravel.

As quarantines eased, demand for many products increased exponentially, but supplies struggled to keep up. The war in Ukraine exacerbates these problems as many commodities used in the production process, including oil, are shrinking.

This perfect storm of misfortune is causing the supply chain to recover at a snail’s pace – but it is recovering. Data from the New York Fed’s Global Supply Chain Pressure Index shows that these pressures are starting to return to pre-Covid levels.

Supply chain disruptions are expected to return to “normal” in 2023, as reported by Bloomberg, but this recovery will vary by industry and region.

For now, consumers should expect scarcity to remain a part of daily life for the foreseeable future.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button