The chief executive of the Consumer Council, Gilly Wong, says rampant panic buying of toilet paper is already costing Hong Kong buyers – in the form of price rises and the loss of discounted deals.
Supermarket shelves have been wiped clean of toilet roll in recent weeks as rumours circulated that production on the mainland had ground to a halt or that supplies would not be able to get into Hong Kong due to the coronavirus outbreak.
"At the major supermarket chains, the price hasn't gone up that much but, unfortunately, all the different offers that we used to enjoy in the past disappeared," Wong said after appearing on a radio programme on Sunday.
"So in the end it is the consumer that's suffered: in terms of the financial side, they have to pay more. For the drug stores, we also see the price fluctuate quite a bit for toilet rolls.
"We would urge the public that, since we get almost 100 per cent confirmation that the plants operate and there's stock coming in with many, many different types of inventory that we are using, if we control a little bit on our purchases, probably the market will be back to normal very, very soon."
Many major retailers and supermarket chains have imposed a two-pack limit on purchases of toilet paper and other scarce commodities, such as hand sanitiser and bleach.