Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims says the watchdog is keeping an eye on the problem as shoppers scramble to stock up on essentials during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sims said people were originally complaining about promotions no longer occurring but reports were now coming in of price rises.
He believes it’s a supply chain issue rather than the supermarkets themselves.
“You might have a manufacturing company, manufacturing some good like pasta or rice, and previously they did it with just one shift,” he told Seven.
“They might now be moving to two or three shifts and that’s of course more expensive.
“That can affect the underlying cost of supply as they’re trying to boost supply to meet this panic demand.”
Australia’s supermarkets have been granted permission to work with each other to ensure their shelves are stocked during the outbreak.
However, the temporary rules do not allow supermarkets to agree on retail prices for products.
Want to comment?
Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.
We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.
Local News Matters
Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to contribute to InDaily.