Supplies of individual brands of powdered milk formula are still tight in Yuen Long and Sham Shui Po despite a slight fall in the overall shortage rate. The Food and Health Bureau revealed the information in a document submitted to the Legislative Council’s food safety and environmental hygiene panel. The shortage was most acute for one popular brand – Friso. Overall figures for five areas surveyed between May and October last year revealed that it was not available at 20 per cent of pharmacies. Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki said the findings showed that a restriction limiting people to taking no more than two tins of formula out of the city must stay in place. “The shortage in infant formula still exists in some areas even with the restriction,” Kwok said. “Given that China is relaxing its one-child policy, it is foreseeable that the demand for infant formula will only escalate.” READ MORE: Baby formula and diaper sales likely winners in expected retail consumption boom as China drops one-child policy He said removing the policy now would cause worries among local mothers. A monthly study commissioned by the bureau to monitor supplies and prices of formula also found a shortage of the Mead Johnson brand. But the bureau noticed an improvement in the overall shortage rate in the five districts: North District, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, Sai Kung and Sham Shui Po. The overall shortage rate for Friso products, which had a comparatively tighter supply than Mead Johnson, fell to around 20 per cent, from above 20 per cent in general between December 2014 and February last year. The rate for Mead Johnson dropped to around 10 per cent, from 7 to 17 per cent. Yuen Long once recorded a 47 per cent of shortage – the highest in the study – for Friso Stage Two products, which are designated for infants aged six to 12 months old, between May 28 and June 1. READ MORE: Two-can formula milk restriction won’t be scrapped, says Hong Kong health chief Shortage rates for Mead Johnson Stage One to Stage Three products in the district also hit 20 per cent or more four times during the surveyed period. Sham Shui Po recorded a 40 per cent shortage for Friso Stage Three formula from July 25 to 29. Despite the shortages, imports of products stayed at around 31 million kilograms from March to September last year, a similar level to that in the same period in 2014. Re-exports increased 48.3 per cent from 2014 to last year. Friso said it took the issue of product supply seriously and had enhanced delivery services to retail outlets and would adjust the frequency of deliveries on a daily basis when necessary. Imported products kept for use in the city dropped 10.5 per cent drop last year compared to 2014. The survey, which will continue in the coming few months, found no drastic change in the shortage rate during the National Day “golden week” holiday in early October. It attributed this to the two-tin policy, which came into effect in March 2013.