Tuesday | 14 April | 2020
By Reon Janse van Rensburg
Business Insider reported that the South African company, Tiger Brands, are currently struggling to buy enough pasta and rice due to panic buying in South Africa, and because international supplies are being disrupted. According to Tiger Brands, the company is also struggling to find bottlecaps for its Energade plastic bottles.
During an interview on The Money Show with radio broadcaster, Bruce Whitfield on Radio 702, Tiger Brands’ CEO, Noel Doyle said the group, who own brands such as Koo, Beacon, Jungle and Ace, is not experiencing a shortage, but that there are challenges in some of the food categories.
The products that currently presents challenges, include the yellow bottlecaps which is a trademark of Energade and which has been around since 1993. The problem existed due to cargo problems international suppliers are currently experiencing and lead to Tiger Brands struggling to get a hold of these specific bottlecaps.
However, there are bigger challenges such as obtaining rice and pasta. Both products were bought in bulk because of panic buying by consumers, triggered by the panic caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
South Africa is not a rice producer and therefore it is completely dependent on imports of this product. Some of the countries that do export rice, such as Cambodia and Vietnam have banned any all transport during the Covid-19 crisis and in India all exports were disrupted due to the lockdown measures of the Covid-19 virus.
According to Doyle, Tiger Brands’ pasta sales have increased by 67% over the past 15 days until Monday, 6 April 2020. Tiger Brands owns the Fatti’s & Moni’s brand.
He said that certain types of pasta are imported and that imports were hampered by other countries’ lockdown regulations. The managed to obtain supplies from Namibia, but Tiger Brands’ local plant is working full steam to supply past to the local market.
Up to 70% of South Africa’s annual rice consumption is imported from Thailand and a further 20% from India. According to Wandile Sihlobo, Chief Economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber in South Africa none of the countries banned exports but there is a global rush to buy rice from these countries and these shortages caused prices to skyrocket. This is the highest that prices have been in the last 7 years.
* All information was correct at the time of publication.