Canada is experiencing a shortage of the tapioca pearls or boba used in bubble tea as shipping delays continue to affect the global supply chain.

A Vancouver-based supplier of bubble tea products says boba supply is currently "running thin" and is causing concern among bubble tea cafes as demand grows with warmer weather.

Bubble Tea Canada, which provides wholesale supplies to companies in Alberta, Quebec and Ontario, says the shortage is caused by the pandemic, coupled with the obstruction of the Suez Canal last month after a container ship blocked the trade route.

Spokesman Greg Tieu says most Canadian wholesalers get bubble tea supplies from Asia, particularly from Taiwan, where the popular drink originated.

He says the backlog has caused wholesale prices to go up and the business has started limiting purchase quantities.

Tieu says the shortage has been going on for at least two weeks and it could take months to catch up.