Why is there a shortage of ice cubes in Spanish supermarkets?

by Lorraine Williamson
ice cubes

MADRID – It is not the first time recently that a product is scarce in the Spanish supermarket. First toilet paper that was barely available, then oil and now it’s the turn of the ice cubes. 

Supermarkets, bars and restaurants in Spain have been struggling with a shortage of this much-needed product for several days during the third heatwave of this summer season. What is the reason for the lack of ice cubes supply? The 20Minutos newspaper writes that the rise in energy prices in recent months, the rise in prices at a general level and high demand this summer are the main factors behind this problem. 

Increased demand due to extreme heat 

Producers and distributors are already starting to store the ice for the summer during the first months of the year. Sergio del Moral, who works for a major ice cube distributor, explains to La Vanguardia newspaper that the shortage may be due to the rise in energy prices. 

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“Because factories were unable to stabilise costs to sell the ice cream at the usual market price, they stopped production. However, we only notice that now in the summer. The forecast is that there will be no ice in August,” said Del. morals. 

In addition, the extreme heat of recent weeks has led to an increase in demand for this product in supermarkets. Price increases are the result of this, as has happened with other basic products. 

Prevent shortages by limiting the amount of ice cubes per customer 

The Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) indicates that households will have to pay more than €830 extra for food this year. Now the price of ice cubes could also rise significantly due to the lack of supply. So much so that some supermarkets have decided to limit the purchase of ice cubes packs per customer to avoid shortages. 

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