Tough new baby formula measures drive up prices on China's shopping websites

Similar baby formula limits announced by the Netherlands and New Zealand

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 March, 2013, 6:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 March, 2013, 6:42pm

New measures making it harder for travellers to take baby formula purchases out of Hong Kong have been driving up re-sale prices on mainland shopping websites.

On mainland e-commerce site Taobao, prices for the Mead Johnson and Friso brands of newborn formula rose as high as 300 yuan (HK$385) a can, according to a recent Ming Pao report.

Local retailer Mannings sells the same brands for roughly 30 per cent less.

The new restrictions came into effect on March 1 and limit travellers from taking more than two cans, or 1.8kg, of infant formula out of Hong Kong.

Those caught breaching the new limit face a maximum penalty of HK$500,000 and up to two years in jail.

According to figures released by Taobao just one week after the ban, sales volumes of imported milk formula surged 13 per cent  and grew 12-fold from the same period last year.

Similar two-can limits on baby formula have also been announced by the Netherlands and New Zealand.

According to Xinhua news, some supermarkets in the Netherlands have banned customers from purchasing more than one can of formula after many Chinese were purchasing massive hauls of milk powder.