There’s a reason why people started to panic buy at supermarkets in Singapore after the Malaysian government announced that there’d be a lockdown.

Some were afraid that it would affect the supply of produce here in Singapore.

The government has since come forward to assure us that Singapore has sufficient supplies to last us the coming months.

However, it is inevitable that food prices might increase due to disrupted supplies following the lockdown in other countries:

Food Prices in S’pore Might Increase Due to Other Countries’ Lockdown That Disrupted Supplies

According to TODAYOnline, some other countries may have stopped their production of goods momentarily as they go into lockdown during the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition, there have been some disruptions to air and sea connectivity.

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said that these are some of the major challenges that Singapore is facing in maintaining its trade flow.

Mr Chan spoke to reporters after touring a Swensen’s restaurant on Tuesday saying some countries have implemented a lockdown in order to prevent further spread of the virus.

However, they did not fully consider the impact of their decision and “will soon find themselves short of critical components”, including in the manufacturing and food production chains.

Singapore Needs To Source Alternative Supplies

Mr Chan added that in order to make sure that Singapore continues to have sufficient supplies, government agencies have to source for alternative supplies even before the lockdown is implemented.

Countries would also have to agree to maintain their flow of goods. To enable this to occur, Singapore needs to maintain its air and sea links with the rest of the world.

“Because it is not just about Singapore connecting with the rest of the world for our own supplies. Singapore as a regional hub also provides connectivity services for the rest of the region and the world,” Mr Chan said.

Here’s a simple video we did that explains Singapore’s food supply sources in simple English:

Singapore Must Be Mentally Prepared For Food Prices To Go Up

Because it is a dynamic global situation where different countries set up stricter measures as each day passes, Singaporeans must be mentally prepared for food prices to go up due to the “constant disruptions in supply.”

As the outbreak is global, a greater amount of supply lines would be cut.

“So today, when the economic agencies look at our stockpile numbers, we have to constantly keep watch, which are the countries that are approaching a possible lockdown or shutdown and make sure that we take anticipatory moves… for us to develop new sources,” he said.

He also said that the time span the authorities need for planning has become longer as Singapore may come face to face with repeated waves of infection that are imported from other countries.

Singaporeans Can Help By Remaining Calm & Not Panic-buying

He emphasises that Singaporeans can help by remaining calm and not panic-buying.

In addition, Singaporeans can also be more open to buying alternative food sources or by diversifying food choices, i.e. frozen or canned food.

“We try our best to secure fresh supplies from as many countries, as many sources as possible. In the event (of) a temporary disruption, we must be prepared to use alternatives, be it frozen or canned (food) to tide us over before the supplies come back again,” he said.

Singapore Has “Depth Of Resources To Meet New Challenges”

He also assures Singaporeans that the second stimulus package, which came a short month after the Budget statement, was designed to “give confidence” to the country.

“We have the depth of resources to meet the new challenges that may still be emerging. (The Resilience Budget) must also give people confidence that we have a government that knows exactly how to tackle the issues in a surgical way,” he said.

To recap, please do not panic buy and be open to alternative sources of food such as canned or frozen food should there be a need to.

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