Norfolk supermarkets limit cooking oil purchases due to Ukraine war impact

There is currently a cooking oil shortage due to the Ukraine war impacting the supply-chain. 

There is currently a cooking oil shortage due to the Ukraine war impacting the supply-chain. - Credit: Archant

Supermarkets in Norfolk and across the UK have limited the amount of cooking oil shoppers can buy due to supply-chain issues.

It has been caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with most of the UK’s sunflower oil coming from the latter. 

There are restrictions applying to that product along with olive and rapeseed oil at some supermarkets.

Tesco is permitting three items per customer while Waitrose and Morrisons have placed limits of two items each, according to the BBC.

The British Retail Consortium's (BRC) Tom Holder said the move was a temporary measure "to ensure availability for everyone".

Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland supermarkets, said his shops were having to ration sunflower oil sales to one bottle per customer.

Iceland in north Norfolk. Picture: ALEX HURRELL

Iceland has limited customers to one bottle of sunflower oil each. - Credit: Archant

"It is not as frenzied as the toilet roll panic buying from a couple of years ago, and we are managing to maintain an offer," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

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"But yes, we are limiting purchases and we've moved into smaller packs to allow existing stocks in the market to service more customers."

Mr Holder from the BRC said retailers were "working with suppliers to ramp up production of alternative cooking oils, to minimise the impact on consumers".

Recent data showed cooking oil was one of a range of food staples to have its price shoot up.

Iceland boss Mr Walker told Today: "If you look at commodity prices, sunflower oil has gone up 1,000pc in terms of the commodity cost in the market, palm oil (up) 400pc and then there is things like wheat, 50pc, fertiliser, 350pc.

"These are all unintended consequences of the war in Ukraine that is affecting supermarkets."

The Russian tanks and missiles besieging Ukraine are also threatening the food supply and livelihoods of people in Europe, Africa and Asia who rely on the vast, fertile farmlands of the Black Sea region known as the "breadbasket of the world".