Candy cane shortage… Supply-Chain Mess Threatens Holidays… Sky-High Lumber Prices Back… Central Banks Worry Omicron Could Sustain Inflation…

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Candy cane shortage…

It’s the great Candy Cane Crisis of 2021.

Weakness in peppermint crops and COVID-caused logistical issues have created a problem for Big Candy.

“We only received half of our candy cane order for the holiday season and sold out almost immediately. We currently have zero in stock,” Mitchell Cohen, the owner of Economy Candy on the Lower East Side, told The Post. “Raw material and ingredient shortages globally have had quite an impact.”

It was a first for the store, which has been in business since 1937. Cohen said they sold more than 12,000 candy canes before running dry.

“Since candy canes were invented, we’ve had candy canes,” he said.

Supply-Chain Mess Threatens Holidays…

Supply-chain disruptions are threatening to rob some companies of holiday sales, leaving them short on packaging and transportation at a critical time of year.

Some makers of toys, games and other consumer goods are racing to figure out how to get products to market, and having to decide which customers will receive orders as stocks run low. In some cases, companies are figuring out how to remake products to have something to sell during a season that can generate a big portion of annual sales.

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In Casper, Wyo., hot-sauce producer Eli Dicklich said he has enough ketchup, brown sugar and other ingredients to make his Pine Ridge brand of sauces––but not enough 8-ounce glass jars to bottle them and ship to customers. For several months this winter, the shortage of jars has meant his company, Herbadashery LLC, hasn’t been able to sell its three-jar holiday packs that include jalapeño barbecue and sweet mustard sauces. Mr. Dicklich recently received a shipment of larger, 18-ounce jars and is now rushing to get those into customer homes before Christmas.

Sky-High Lumber Prices Back…

Lumber prices have shot up again in a rise reminiscent of a year ago, when high-climbing wood prices warned of the hinky supply lines and broad inflation to come.

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Futures for January delivery ended Friday at $1,089.10 per thousand board feet, twice the price for a prompt delivery in mid-November.

Central Banks Worry Omicron Could Sustain Inflation…

The Omicron variant is circling the globe, closing borders and sparking new restrictions on economic activity. Yet central banks, instead of loosening monetary policy to prop up their economies as they did at the start of the pandemic, are moving to unwind stimulus and raise interest rates.

The moves reflect a new thinking among policy makers about the pandemic’s economic effects: Central-bank officials worry that rather than simply threatening to curtail economic growth, a surge in Covid-19 cases could also prolong high inflation.

In the past week, the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank all moved to tighten monetary policy in response to inflation concerns.


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