• Supermarket chains say the Ukraine war is causing soaring prices of cooking oil.
  • The UK supermarket Tesco is limiting sunflower oil purchases to three bottles.
  • The UK Food Standards Agency warned in March that sunflower oil supplies could soon run out.

A growing number of supermarkets are limiting how much cooking oil shoppers can buy because the Ukraine war has led to shortages, multiple reports say.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 after building up a military presence on the Ukraine border following months of uncertainity that the conflict would escalate. The war is causing a disruption of harvests, meaning there is limited supply of sunflower oil. 

Indonesia, the world's biggest palm oil supplier, imposed a partial export ban this week on the key cooking oil ingredient, RBD Palm Oil.

UK supermarket Tesco is introducing a three-bottle limit, while Morrisons told Insider it has a "max cap" of two bottles of cooking oil. Waitrose is also capping purchases to two bottles, The New York Times reported. 

Greek supermarket AB has also introduced a three-bottle limit for sunflower oil in the past few weeks, Reuters reported. Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt will only allow customers to buy a maximum of two litres of cooking oil, according to the Anadolu Agency news outlet

Insider was unable to contact AB and Colruyt for comment.

Ukraine and Russia supply the majority of the UK's sunflower oil and some food companies are experiencing "severe difficulties" in obtaining it, the British Food Standards Agency (FSA) said in a statement in March.  

"Food businesses are reporting that UK supplies of sunflower oil are likely to run out in a few weeks," Emily Miles, the FSA's chief executive, said at the time.

The chairman of UK supermarket Iceland, which is limiting sunflower oil purchases to one bottle, said that the commodity price of sunflower oil had gone up 1,000 per cent.

He said: "These are all unintended consequences of the war in Ukraine that is affecting supermarkets," the i newspaper reported.


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