Sunflower oil ‘disappears’ as the Ukraine war begins

“The disruption of this ubiquitous ingredient will put further pressure on America’s food system,” he said.

And price increases “will exacerbate the challenging cost environment that U.S. companies have struggled with over the past year,” Katie Denis, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Brands Association, said in a report this month.

Other countries are feeling the pinch: Ukraine’s primary export markets last year included India, China, the Middle East and North Africa and the EU, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Rema 1000, a Norwegian supermarket chain, is considering returning to selling palm oil, which it had previously banned for environmental reasons, and its Danish subsidiary has limited customers to three bottles of oil.

But that approach could be exacerbated by an Indonesian ban on palm oil exports, weather-related global shortages and market tightness from the war, Oil World, an industry analyst group, said in a report Wednesday.

In Norway, Christopher Harlem, CEO of importer Harlem Food, said some European companies were meeting demand – for now – by dipping into their stockpiles of sunflower oil.

“At some point, no more oil will be added to the stocks,” he said. “I can not get hold of any sunflower oil at the moment, not on the amount that counts.”

He added: “I think we have to face the fact that there is an impending shortfall ahead, no doubt, and start thinking about adaptation and replacements.”

Henrik Pryser Libell contributed with reporting.

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