As war continue in Ukraine, which accounts for almost half of sunflower seed oil supply in the world, cooking oil is short in supply. According to The New York Times on Saturday, large supermarkets in European countries, including the U.K., Spain, Greece, Turkey, and Belgium, are allowing only two to three bottles of cooking oil per shopper.
According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, a research institute under the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the harvest of sunflower seed has been practically suspended in Ukraine due to the war that began at the end of February. Ukraine accounts for 46 percent of global sunflower seed oil production. In addition, Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, is limiting palm oil export to prevent domestic inflation, which further reduces the supply of cooking oil in the world.
The U.K., which relies on Ukraine for 83 percent of its cooking oil import, is facing a serious shortage. Tesco, a well-known supermarket chain in the U.K., put a sign that says only three bottles of cooking oil per shopper are allowed. Other U.K. supermarket chains, such as Waitrose and Morrison, are limiting the quantity to two bottles.
“The food industry expects that sunflower seed oil in the U.K. will be depleted within weeks,” the U.K. Food Standards Agency said on Friday. The food industry is coming up with response measures by using palm oil and soybean oil instead of sunflower seed oil and repurposing rapeseed oil used in the biodiesel market for cooking.
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