Russia’s war has pushed up the price of edible oil in the face of international pressure.

ISTANBUL (AP) – For months, the Istanbul restaurant Tarihi Balikka has tried to accept the high cost of sunflower oil, which is used for frying fish, squid and mushrooms.

But in early April, oil prices plummeted. The restaurant has finally increased in price, almost four times higher than in 2019. Now, even some long-time customers will see the menu.

“We protested. Let’s wait a minute. Maybe the market will improve. We’ll say maybe. The price is stable. We’ve seen no improvement.”

From the beginning of the CVD-19 epidemic, the world food prices have skyrocketed for a variety of reasons, from poor production in South America to virus-related manpower and biofuel industry demand. The war in Ukraine – which accounts for about half of the world’s sunflower oil, accounting for more than 25% of Russia – has cut shipments and pushed up the price of edible oil.

This is the latest setback in the global war on food supply in Russia, and as inflation continues to rise, prices are declining for families and businesses. The conflict is already exacerbating high food and energy costs and is hitting hard on the poor.

The food crisis is in jeopardy as the war threatens to erode vital crops from Ukraine and Russia and exacerbate the global fertilizer crisis. Affordable supply of wheat, barley, and other cereals has raised hopes for food security and political instability in the Middle East, Africa, and some Asian countries, where millions depend on subsidized bread and cheap noodles.

Prices for vegetable oil peaked in February, then rose another 23 percent in March, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Soybean oil sold for $ 765 per metric ton in 2019 was an average of $ 1,957 in March, according to the World Bank. Palm oil prices have risen by 200%, and Indonesia, one of the world’s largest producers, is expected to rise even more Thursday after it banned exports of edible oil to protect its domestic supply.

Some supermarkets in Turkey limit the amount of vegetable oil households can buy. Some stores in Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom also have restrictions. German consumers are posting photos on social media on empty shelves, where sunflower and canola oil are often stored. Kenya’s main power company recently warned on Twitter that thieves were re-producing toxic liquids from electrical transformers and selling them again as edible oil.

Gladdin and Neoni have doubled the price of vegetable oil since the start of the war. A 2 liter bottle now costs up to $ 9.

Emwati, who runs a food stall in Jakarta, Indonesia, says she needs 24 gallons[24 L]of cooking oil per day. She makes Nasi Kapaun, a deep-fried beef jerky, the traditional mixed rice she offers. She has had difficulty verifying that offer since January, and what she buys is very expensive. Profit is declining, but she fears losing customers if she raises prices.

“I’m sorry,” said Emwati, who uses only one name. We accept rising oil prices but we cannot increase the price of food we sell.

The price of cooking oil is partly due to the recent protests in Jakarta. Indonesia imposes domestic inflation on palm oil and restricts exports, creating new global pressure. Palm oil is an alternative to sunflower oil and is used in many products, from cookies to cosmetics.

The Associated Press reports on human rights abuses in an industry that has been under environmental impact for years.

Yawar Khan, owner of Akash Tandoori Restaurant in London, said he spent 22 pounds ($ 28) on cooking oil a few months ago. It is now 38 38 ($ 49).

“We can’t transfer all the prices to the consumer, and that would be detrimental,” said Khan, adding that the cost of meat, spices, labor and labor costs would increase.

Large companies are also experiencing the pain. London-based Uniliver – maker of Dove Soap and Helman Mayonnaise – says it has contracts for essential ingredients such as palm oil for the first half of the year. But he warned investors that the cost could rise sharply in the second half.

Cargil, an international food company that produces vegetable oil, says its customers are experimenting with different oils by changing formulas. This can be difficult because oils have different properties; Olive oil burns at a lower temperature than sunflower oil, for example palm oil is more viscous.

In the fall, where corn, soybeans and other crops are harvested by farmers in the Northern Hemisphere, prices could be moderate, said Joseph Glouber, a senior researcher at the International Food Policy Research Institute. But there is always the risk of bad weather. Last year’s drought hit Canada’s canola crop and Brazil’s soybean crop, and torrential rains damaged Malaysia’s palm oil production.

According to Steve Matthews, research assistant at Gro Intelligence Agricultural Information and Analysis Company, farmers do not know when the war will end, although farmers are reluctant to plant enough crops to offset the shortfall in Ukraine or Russia.

“If there was a ceasefire or something like that, we would see a reduction in prices soon,” he said.

In the long run, the crisis will force countries to reconsider their biofuel obligations, which will have to mix vegetable oil with fossil fuels to reduce emissions and energy imports. For example, 42% of soybean oil in the US goes to biofuel production, says Glouver. Indonesia has recently delayed bidding for 40% of its biodiesel-based biodiesel-based plans, and the European Commission has said it will support member states that choose to reduce their biofuel authority.

In the meantime, consumers and businesses are struggling.

Harry Niazi, a London-based veteran fisherman, says he used to pay ሊትር 22 for a 20-liter jug ​​of sunflower oil. Cost recently jumped to 42 42.50 ($ 55). Niazi passes through eight jars a week.

But what worries me more than inflation is the idea that sunflower oil is completely gone. He is planning to sell the car and store the cash for fuel.

“It’s very, very scary, and I don’t know how to set up a fish and chips industry. I certainly do not. ”

Niazi has so far stopped short of prices because it does not want to lose customers.

Christine Coronado, owner of a small fried cheeseburger restaurant in Diazburg, Tennessee, was also upset by the price increase. But at the board’s expense of 20% – and almost three times the price of edible oil since it opened in 2018 – the price has finally risen in April.

“You hate to raise prices, but the cost is much higher than it was a few years ago,” she says.


Chan reports from London. APA journalists Edna Tarigan and Fidara Sam in Jakarta, Indonesia; Faray Mutakaka in Harare, Zimbabwe; Susan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey; Mehmet Guzel in Istanbul; Ann Dienosenzio in New York; And Sebabatso Mosamo and Mogomotsi Magome in Johannesburg.

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