Sunflower Oil ‘Vanishes’ as Ukraine War Grinds On

“The disruption of this ubiquitous ingredient will continue to strain the American food system,” he said.

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

Other countries are feeling the effects of the crisis: According to the US Department of Agriculture, Ukraine’s most important export markets last year included India, China, the Middle East and North Africa and the European Union. Rema 1000, a Norwegian supermarket chain, is considering returning to selling palm oil, which it previously banned over environmental concerns, and its Danish subsidiary has limited buyers to three bottles of oil.

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

In Norway, Christopher Harlem, chief executive of importer Harlem Food, said some European companies are meeting demand – for now – by drawing on their stored supplies of sunflower oil.

“Eventually, oil will stop being added to the bearings,” he said. “I can’t get sunflower oil right now, not in any quantity that counts.”

He added: “I think without a doubt we need to deal with an upcoming shortage and start thinking about adjustments and replacements.”

Henrik Pryser-Libell contributed reporting.

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