Ongoing global crunch in shipping containers due to the Covid-19 pandemic can cause supply shortage of toilet papers worldwide, at least this is the verdict of Suzano SA, the biggest producer of wood pulp -- the raw material for products including bath tissue.
According to Suzano SA CEO Walter Schalka the demand for ships that carry ribbed steel containers is rising and the squeeze is starting to spill over to cargo vessels known as break bulk threatening to delay the company's shipments, reports Bloomberg.
In an interview, Schalka warned that significant disruptions to the pulp trade could eventually impact supplies of toilet paper if producers have insufficient inventories.
Sao Paulo-based Suzano reportedly is at risk of exporting less in March than the company had expected and being forced to roll over some shipments into April.
"All the South American players which export through break bulk have faced this risk," he said.
Brazil is the world's top supplier of pulp, and Suzano accounts for about a third of global supplies of hardwood pulp, the type used to produce toilet papers.
Elsewhere, cargo-market disruption is playing havoc on global trade, especially for food and agricultural products as freight costs have gone up and deliveries have slowed.
Although the container crisis has been playing out for months Suzano's warning is among the first major signs showing the spillover into other shipping markets.