SPAIN has given temporary authorisation to supermarkets to limit the sale of certain products amid shortages caused by the war in Ukraine and compounded by a trucker strike.

Milk and sunflower oil have been particularly scarce in supermarkets across Spain over the past week, although more through panic buying and hoarding than by actual supply problems.

Some supermarkets had been attempting to limit the sale of certain products to prevent stockpiling but did not have the legal means to do so.

Spain’s government announced that it had approved rationing on a temporary basis as part of the raft of measures introduced to mitigate the impact of the Ukraine war that will be in place until June 30.

The BOE notice published on Wednesday declared that supermarkets are permitted, in ‘exceptional circumstances’, to limit the amount of products that someone can buy.

Trade Minister Reyes Maroto said: “The law change provides legal backing so that they can limit the number of items bought and thus avoid hoarding, and to ensure fair access for all consumers.”

Prior to the announcement, the Spanish association of consumers FACUA reported that Mercadona and Dia among others were limiting the amount of sunflower oil that a consumer could buy.

General Secretary of FACUA, Ruben Sanchez was critical of the new measures, telling the Olive Press: “A practice prohibited for almost 30 years is being authorised. This will encourage hoarding by limiting the number of products that a consumer can buy. This new power should not be left in the hands of supermarkets who will take advantage by raising the prices of items. This is wholly irresponsible by the government.”

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