Kitchens feel the heat as Ukraine war sees the price of sunflower oil soar

The war in Ukraine has pushed up the price of sunflower oil
The war in Ukraine has pushed up the price of sunflower oil Copyright Credit: Chris Neal/AP
Copyright Credit: Chris Neal/AP
By Euronews
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One restaurant owner in London told Euronews the price of cooking oil had gone up 300%.

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Restaurants say they are feeling the pinch as the war in Ukraine causes the price of cooking oils to hit record levels.

More than half of the world’s production of sunflower oil is made from flowers that are grown in Ukraine and Russia.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization's Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in international prices for a basket of commodities, saw vegetable oils increase by 23.2% in March - the biggest hike of the items it monitored.

It means the cost of producing food has skyrocketed.

Anisa Khan, a restaurant owner in London, told Euronews "with the increase of oil price it’s increased our costs quite a lot, it’s gone up 200 to 300%, a significant increase”.

In the UK capital, buyers have also been limited to two drums of sunflower oil each in a clear sign of concerns about shortages.

“The oil is the core part of the cooking, the initial first step," said Khan. "The price increase has been for 20 litres, it was £20 (€24). And now we’re seeing around £60 (€72)."

There is little hope things will improve in the short term. The war has trapped millions of tonnes of sunflower oil earmarked for European buyers in Ukraine, causing a major supply shock that could last as long as the conflict continues.

“The little bit of sunflower that’s left in the system is going to run out in the next few weeks," said Gary Lewis, head of imports at KTC Edibles. "The problem is we don’t know how much and how long. The ramifications of sunflower could go on well into 2023 depending on the situation over the next couple of months.”

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