British supermarkets are rationing supplies of cooking oil as a result of supply disruptions caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Tesco became the latest major grocery chain to do so, according to The Guardian, limiting customers to three bottles of oil per visit. Morrisons and Waitrose previously imposed limits of two bottles.
The problem has its roots in the war’s interruption of supplies of sunflower oil, of which some 80% of the world’s supply comes from Ukraine and Russia. That disruption has had a cascading effect, increasing demand for most varieties of edible oil.
The situation is also affecting British processors, who have to switch from sunflower to other types of oil, often at higher prices.
“It is impossible to get sunflower oil in any quantity. You just can’t get it,” the owner of a snack processing company said. “We’ve secured enough rapeseed [oil] to get us through to August, but we are paying three times as much for it as we were for sunflower oil a year ago.”