Cyprus supermarkets are not expected to experience stock shortages due to the war in Ukraine, executive secretary of the Supermarkets Association (Pasype) Andreas Hadjiadamou told the Cyprus News Agency on Wednesday.

So far, there are no issues in the Cypriot market because of the war, neither in supply chains nor in prices, the association’s secretary said, explaining that Ukraine and Russia did not have a large share of markets in basic goods on the island.

He acknowledged some expected temporary shortages, and random price increases in various products which, according to Hadjiadamou, are not so much linked to the war as to the broader economic context prevailing since the end of 2021.

Saying the effects of the war are likely to arise if hostilities continue, Pasype’s representative assured the island will not experience these at a large scale.

“We will not face a big problem, like probably other countries, because this is connected with the size of our market,” he said.

Hadjiadamou explained how in this kind of crisis, the size of the market and the size of the businesses, especially in the supermarket sector, plays an important role.

Furthermore, the supermarket association has the capacity to be flexible, has the experience and knowledge of the market, and has the ability to adapt, its secretary said, explaining they are in communication with their members.

“We have been closely monitoring developments for many days,” he said, explaining how suppliers also have alternatives and are planning according to the worst-case scenario.

“The market dynamics and the experience we have with both our own imports and purchases and alternative suppliers” will help us to “cope with the lowest cost in terms of this crisis if it continues,” he said.

Regarding alternatives available in case of supply chain problems, Hadjiadamou referred to the alternative market, and said basic commodities of first demand existed in large quantities in various countries.

Following Russia’s invasion in Ukraine late February, wheat prices soared, while the UN agency warned earlier this month the war could trigger a 20 per cent rise in food prices.

This has impacted the country as well, as grain prices are currently 80 per cent higher than October 2020 and are expected to rise further according to Nicos Papakyriakou, director of the association of cattle breeders. Papakyriakou was speaking at a recent protest over the surge in prices that called on the government to introduce a price ceiling.