Empty Shelves

During Jen's nesting week, we went to the shop to stock up on disposable diapers. We did not plan to buy any "formula milk" for the baby since Jen was to breastfeed the new baby until he can feed on solids just like how we handled Albany in the past. Still, I couldn't help but notice the empty shelves at the formula milk section. Woolworths was such a big organisation here and you would almost never see a regular day of slow replenishing of goods in any of their joints. Even so, they struggled to keep up with the frantic buyers (rumored to be the PRCs) of milk powder.

On the shelf was a pinned newspaper article explaining their empty shelves. It was old news and people were generally aware of PRCs exporting milk powder in large amounts for personal use or profit. That irked the locals because they felt that the practice was artificially driving supply low and causing prices to increase.

That reminded me of my own stupidity. I used to think that HDB prices were driven up by an artificial demand caused by an influx of migrants into Singapore in a very short time. The stupid part of me was that I believed it was artificial. There was nothing artificial about that. It was in fact, more real than my worst nightmares as I had to go through every single day jostling with crowds, wonder if there was any future left for me there. That wasn't a trend or a one-off phenomenon. Escalating population figures will not stop. This kind of reality is probably something the locals here have not come to terms with. As long as Australia continues to take in PRCs and the power milk quality continues to be dire in their home country, the shelves here are going to be empty until price goes up so much that it isn't feasible to export them off the racks anymore. None of the options seem possible in the near future. It remains to be seen if they will take the risk to increase supply dramatically as a solution.

Just how much the milk powder is here? Is it really worth the effort of exporting them that way? I am not really sure. I have never shopped for formula milks in Singapore or Perth and have no feel of the pricing difference. I remember a friend in Singapore asking me about it before. Why don't you tell me if there is a significant difference? I can't even tell the differences among brands.