Booze supply disruptions in SA affecting Nam

Shortage of bottles and cans

14 January 2022 | Ekonomie
PHILLEPUS UUSIKU

Global alcohol supply chain disruptions, caused by a shortage of cans and bottles, have spilled to Namibia, putting a strain on booze sellers locally as the country imports a lot of products from its southern neighbour.

Fin 24 reported that South African Breweries (SAB) cannot deliver all customer orders, while Distell, which produces Savanna, Hunter’s and Klipdrift, said it is experiencing severe glass shortages, as well as a shortage of aluminium, used in the production of cans, and corks.

In China, a major centre of international manufacturing, ports and factories were closed after surges in new Covid-19 cases towards the end of last year.

A number of businesses in South Africa had to close down due to lack of supply of alcohol. Businesses have also complained that there is not enough communication about the shortages.

Market Watch talked to Andreas Nuule, president of the Namibia Retailing Traders Association (NRTA), formerly known as the Namibia Shebeen Association (NASA), to get the business and consumers side of the story.

Nuule indeed confirmed that there is a shortage of liquor products, especially those that come from South African brewers such as Distell.

“There is a shortage of liquor products such as Tassenburg, ciders, Hennessy and brandies,” the president of the association said.

LOCAL BREWERS

Market Watch further contacted local brewers to find out if they have experienced any disruptions in their respective supply chains.

According to Christin Obst, manager for strategic sourcing at Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), at the moment, the company is not experiencing issues with the supply of glass in specific.

“We have been exposed to shortages of 500 millilitre (ml) aluminium cans in December 2021, which had an impact on Windhoek Draught cans. We were able to mitigate this situation by converting the pack to a 440ml size and by reducing the price for the consumer accordingly,” Obst said.

“The situation with regards to our inbound supply chain for raw and packaging materials has however been very challenging in the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and our respective teams are doing their best to find solutions with our suppliers and supply chain partners.”

The commodity price increases for freight, aluminium, steel and other raw materials are a serious concern going forward, Obst pointed out.

Efforts to get input from Distell Namibia Limited and Castle Brewing Namibia went unsuccessful. [email protected]

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