“The disruption of this ubiquitous ingredient will cause further strain on America’s food system,” he said.
And price increases “will exacerbate the challenging cost environment that U.S. companies have been contending with for the last year,” Katie Denis, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Brands Association, said in a report this month.
Other countries are feeling the pinch: Ukraine’s primary export markets last year included India, China, the Middle East and North Africa, and the European Union, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rema 1000, a Norwegian supermarket chain, is considering a return to selling palm oil, which it had previously banned for environmental reasons, and its Danish affiliate has limited shoppers to three bottles of oil.
But that approach could be aggravated by an Indonesian ban on its palm oil exports, weather-related global shortages and the tightness in the market from the war, Oil World, an industry analyst group, said in a report on Wednesday.
In Norway, Christopher Harlem, the chief executive of the importer Harlem Food, said some European companies were meeting demand — for now — by dipping into their stored supplies of sunflower oil.
“At some point, more oil will not be added to the storages,” he said. “I cannot get hold of any sunflower oil at the moment, not at any volume that counts.”
He added, “I think we have to face there is an upcoming shortage ahead, without doubt, and start thinking about adaptation and replacements.”
Henrik Pryser Libell contributed reporting.