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France's Avril sees no shortages for cooking oil brand

By Reuters

PARIS – Avril’s Lesieur cooking oil brand is sourced entirely in France and therefore the war in Ukraine will not affect availability, the French oilseed group said on Monday.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has stalled trade from the Black Sea exporting countries, which together account for 80% of global exports of sunflower oil.

European vegetable oil industry group FEDIOL warned on Friday that Europe could face a shortfall in sunflower oil, including for consumers.

To boost supply for Lesieur and other brands it supplies, Avril said it would divert sunflower oil allocated for producing biodiesel fuel to food channels.

Avril does process imported vegetable oil for supermarkets’ own brands and the restaurant sector and is doing everything possible to find alternative supply and meet demand, it said in a statement.

France’s largest edible oil supplier is controlled by French oilseed and protein crop farmers. It generated sales of 5.8 billion euros ($6.3 billion) in 2020.

The war in Ukraine has notably halted supplies of sunflower meal that is used in livestock rations.

($1 = 0.9179 euros)