PHOENIX — The baby formula shortage continues to get worse.
Newly released figures from the market research firm Datasembly show shelf stock levels for baby formula continues plummeting nationwide. Falling from 55% the first week of May to less than 30% last week.
Arizona and the Phoenix metro are faring even worse.
Datasembly estimates that stock levels in the Phoenix metro are down to 13%, a considerable drop from the 48% a week before.
Early in 2021 retail shelves were full of baby formula. Between January and August of 2021, stock levels remained above 90%, tracking largely with nationwide estimates. Supply began to falter through the end of 2021 but remained above 80%. Stock began to fall sharply in early March, falling from just above 70% to 13%.
Phoenix is not alone in experiencing critical formula shortages. Five major metros all situated in the western United States are estimated to have stock levels between 10% and 13%, with Houston residents finding themselves in the worse situation.
State level data is no better. 4 of 8 states with baby formula stock levels under 20% are located in the southwest. Utah is estimated to have the lowest baby formula stock at 11%, followed by Arizona at 13%. Nevada is at 16% stock and California’s formula supply is down to 20%.
Local economist Jim Rounds told ABC15 that getting formula stock up to manageable levels won’t be easy. “It’s not just fixing a single supply chain problem.” Rounds said. “There’s a systemic problem in this particular industry so the federal government is going to be stepping in.”
Rounds believes that stock increases should come in waves that will begin when import restrictions are lifted on formula manufactured in some US trading partner countries.
Arizona’s governor Doug Ducey is joining other Republican governors in 18 states in asking for just such action from the White House.
Joined 18 other governors to call on the federal government to take action that increases formula availability. We outlined specific short- and long-term solutions to this issue affecting 8.2 million Americans. Read the letter below. pic.twitter.com/ba6iFDdygZ— Doug Ducey (@DougDucey) May 27, 2022
In a letter sent today, they requested an end to tariffs and other trade restrictions on formula as well as some minor FDA labeling issues that are preventing formula imports. The letter also includes longer term suggestions that the governors say are “important to improve America’s domestic supply chain.”
Ducey and the other Republican governor signatories want to see structural changes to the WIC program and improving the FDA processes surrounding recall orders.