WOOLWORTHS has limited sales of baby formula to four tins, after reports shelves were stripped and formula sent to China.
"We understand that mums need peace of mind that the supply of their chosen brand of infant formula is assured," a Woolworths' spokeswoman said.
"While experts agree that breast milk is the best nutritional choice for babies, breastfeeding may not be possible for all women. Some mothers may be unable to breastfeed, in which case infant formula is an alternative.
"Our priority is to ensure that infant formula is readily available to all of our customers."
Coles said it would be working with suppliers to increase orders and get formula back in stock as soon as possible, but would not limit supply, The Daily Telegraph reports.
"Depending on the supply levels in specific stores, we are taking a common sense approach to large purchases and always work towards ensuring stock availability for all of our customers," a spokeswoman said.
News Ltd has reported that some supermarkets, pharmacies and other retailers have been experiencing a shortage of Bellamy Organic, Karicare and Aptamil formulas after baby formula health scares in China.
One Chinese website advertises that it buys Karicare Aptimal Gold Stage 1 tins for $22.49 each retail, with the organiser selling to buyers in China at about $37, an extra $15 per tin, or $90 profit per case of six. Express shipping costs another $63.
Traders stand to benefit by up to $700 a week, or more than $36,000 tax free from the scheme.
The shortage is a knock-on effect from New Zealand, after retailers there imposed restrictions on infant formula purchases following similar raids.
Karicare is made from dried milk packaged in New Zealand and shipped to Australia. A small proportion is sent to China.
Following the rise in demand for its Karicare and Aptamil brands, manufacturer Nutricia said it is working with retailers to help meet an increase in orders. Nutricia is also increasing production capacity by more than half this year to meet demand.
Should consumers be unable to find Karicare and Aptamil in supermarkets or chemists, the products are also available through its online distribution partner at www.TerryWhitechemists.com.au.Read more at The Daily Telegraph.