Global toilet paper shortage looms as Suez Canal blockage continues
Friday, 26 March 2021
Credit: Michael Jasmund/ Unsplash
The fear of a toilet paper shortage, which first became an issue during the first lockdown as a result of panic shopping, could be looming again across the globe, this time as a result of a 400-meter cargo container ship.
According to Brazilian company Suzano, the biggest producer of wood pulp, the raw material used to produce toilet paper, the global container crisis caused by the Ever Giver cargo ship, which is currently blocking the Suez Canal, could result in a shortage of the product.
“We know that demand for toilet paper has risen sharply since last year. But the lack of containers has been sending our shipments into disarray for a while now. If we don’t get our pulp to the manufacturers, they can no longer make toilet paper and the shops can’t be supplied,” the company’s CEO Walter Schalka said in an interview with Bloomberg.
The Suez Canal Authority has said the grounded vessel has been partially refloated, but that canal transits remain suspended and that there is currently no indication of when they will resume, according to GAC, a shipping agent.
An increase in people buying online had already boosted global trade so much that it has resulted in a shortage of containers and container ships to transport all those goods.
During the lockdown in March, there were already fears of a toilet paper shortage, caused by people flocking to stores and panic-buying toilet paper as well as canned and dried goods, including pasta and rice, resulting in a shortage of many of these products.