By Tamsin Brown • 11 March 2022 • 12:34
Image: Ministry of Agriculture
Spanish supermarkets began to control the sale of sunflower oil last week and olive oil is now also being affected by the Ukraine invasion.
The lack of sunflower oil due to the war in Ukraine, a country from which Spain imports more than 60 per cent of the product, has led to an increased demand for olive oil as a substitute. This means that prices have increased at the source and some experts have warned of possible shortages if the war continues.
The large Spanish supermarket chains have begun to ration sunflower oil in view of the increase in sales made by people anticipating a possible shortage of the product that is widely used in restaurants and canned food.
The olive oil sector and the government have stressed that Spain is lucky enough to be the world’s leading producer of olive oil, with 45 per cent, and that this can make up for any shortages of sunflower oil. Spain only consumes a third of the olive oil it produces domestically as the rest is exported, and the amount that is usually put on the end market is around 190,000 tonnes.
If the lack of sunflower oil were to lead to the additional consumption of some 90,000 tonnes of olive oil, “there could be a lot of price tensions and olive oil shortages”, said the strategic consultant and sector expert Juan Vilar on March 9 at the World Olive Oil Exhibition (WOOE) at Ifema in Madrid. “There just isn’t enough”, he stated.
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Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news.
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