Chris Rees, manager of Robert Price, in Newport, said people were asking for rock salt before Christmas. Rees said: "We're getting all sorts on the phone, people who wouldn't normally be phoning us. We sold about 800 bags the Monday and Tuesday before Christmas. It's been going on since the week before then.
He said: "Around about this time of year, most merchants keep a couple of pallets in stock just in case, but it's very difficult to get hold of and the people we use put the order back a month."
Chris Osbourne, manager of Gwent Building Supplies, in Tredegar, said they still have a few bags in stock, but it is running out fast. "We normally carry a few pallets of rock salt anyway, but not to the extent that people require. I know that highways are running really low. I can't get any more salt and grit, because it's going to highways, we're just in a queue. We've still got a few bags left,' he said.
Tony Gough, of Jewson in Monmouth, said they have run out of salt and grit and have no idea when they will get more. "After the past three weeks, we've completely run out now. There's been a big increase in demand, everyone wants it at the moment. We have some on order, but we won't get that for a few weeks. We've no idea when it will arrive,' he said.