India’s Food Supply Chain During the Pandemic

Working Paper
Published on 31 July 2021


We document the impact of India’s COVID-19 lockdown on the food supply chain. Food arrivals in wholesale markets dropped by 69% in the three weeks following the lockdown and wholesale prices rose by 8%. Six weeks after the lockdown began, volumes and prices had fully recovered. The initial food supply shock was highly correlated with early incidence of COVID-19. We provide evidence that this correlation is due more to state-level lockdown policy variation than local responses of those in the food supply chain. Finally, during the recovery phase, the correlation between the food supply disruption and COVID-19 exposure disappeared, suggesting uniform recovery.


Matt Lowe

University of British Columbia

G V Nadhanael

University of British Columbia

Benjamin Roth

Harvard University