Increased demand from China and elsewhere for halloumi cheese has reportedly driven prices up by 12 per cent in UK supermarkets, some of which have attempted to deal with the shortage by placing a cap on the amount anyone is allowed to buy.
According to UK’s Daily Mail, in the last month alone the shortage of halloumi in UK supermarkets has driven the price up by 5 per cent, while compared to this time last year some halloumi have become as much as 12 per cent more expensive.
The price hike was also boosted by the pound’s weakness against foreign currencies.
In an attempt to contain the excess demand as a result of the shortage of the cheese, Aldi supermarkets have set a limit of two packs per customer for frozen halloumi fries, and has raised the product’s price by 10 per cent.
The UK accounts for 43 per cent of all exports of the cheese from Cyprus, where 12,000 tonnes is consumed every year.
Demand for halloumi is also surging across Europe and in China, with Cyprus producers struggling to keep up with the increased demand, which has led to an export deal with China and a consequent shortage in the UK.
The Cyprus government has been attempting to register halloumi cheese as a PDO – Protected Designation of Origin – for almost four years, even though the PDO registration procedure for cheeses usually takes between four to 10 months.
In February, it emerged that the delay in the registration of halloumi as a PDO product is due to disagreements between the government and the European Commission with the latter flirting with the idea of direct trade of the product for Turkish Cypriots.