Most companies are treading cautiously even though movement of food items is exempted from any restrictions.
To avoid disruptions in the supply of daily essentials in view of new COVID-19 restrictions, food companies, dealers and distributors are stocking up items like rice, wheat, cooking oil, pulses and tea.
Most companies are treading cautiously even though the movement of food items is exempted from any restrictions, Economic Times reported.
Amid the spike in COVID-19 cases led by the Omicron variant, eight states have rolled out restrictions, prohibiting people from going out in public places, shutting academic institutions and enforcing night curfews. These eight states include Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Haryana, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Gujarat.
Till now, the country has reported 1,700 cases of Omicron variant in 23 states and Union Territories. Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of cases at 510, followed by Delhi at 351, Gujarat (136) and Tamil Nadu (121).
Adani Wilmar, maker of Fortune brand of edible oils, is stocking up for 12 days at its 92 warehouses instead of keeping an inventory of 10 days as it normally does, the report quoted managing director Angshu Mallick as saying.
"This is being done to ensure smooth supply to our dealers, distributors and consumers in case some restrictions are put in place by state governments," Mallick said, adding that the upcoming wedding season starting from January 15 is likely to add to the demand.
Adani Wilmar is also creating an inventory of packaging materials and chemicals that are used in the refining of crude edible oils.
Dealers and distributors of basmati rice company Kohinoor Foods have been building an inventory for the last five days, during which their offtake went up by 20-25 percent, Gurnam Arora, joint managing director, said. “They are also getting themselves ready in case of any exigency," he said.
During the first and second wave of COVID-19, supplies of some essential items had faced disruptions.
Meanwhile, trade insiders have assured that prices of pulses are unlikely to go up as they did during the second wave last year as fresh supplies are likely to hit the market soon.
Rabi crop such as masoor, chickpea and yellow peas will hit the markets within one and a half months, Bimal Kothari, vice-chairman of the Indian Pulses and Grains Association, told the report, adding that the government has also extended the deadline for free imports of urad, moong, tur till March 31, 2022 that will benefit consumers.