Oil is one of the products that has risen in Ecuador and around the world. Photo: Julio Estrella / EL Commerceo

Fried eggs? Maybe not … and why don’t we make some fish or chips?

The answer to this question is becoming increasingly difficult as the price of vegetable oils – and especially sunflower oil – has risen so much that they have become a luxury in the kitchen.

Something so high Consumers They complain and laugh on social networks with messages like “I’m selling a shirt with oil stains”.

Inside PepperFor example, a bottle of Pisco (the most common alcoholic beverage in the country) is cheaper than some supermarket oil.

And inside Mexico This is the product whose price has risen the most among the food baskets measured by the National Institute of Statistics (INEGI)

Inside United Kingdom, Spain, Italy or Germany Rationing policies have been applied, with some supermarkets limiting purchases to between one and three liters per person per day.

In addition to rationing, finding empty shelves is increasingly common.

The problem is not just the price that has gone up, but some businesses are not.

Liquid ‘gold’

The Climb In Price Massive inflation in the context of energy and food affects the whole world, driven by War in Ukraine And the economic impact that the epidemic has had Covid-19.

Its value Food It is The world International agencies have warned of an increase in hunger Poor country.

Such as other food products Wheat, corn or soy – which has reached unimaginable prices – oil is the most damaged.

Global, its value Vegetable oil Increased 46.5% in last 12 monthsAccording to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)FAOFor its short form in English).

Inside Latin America The Inflation The last year has covered a very wide range of oils which remains one 9% in Bolivia, From above 80% In a country like Costa Rica.

Sold in Chilean supermarkets as “vegetable oil” is now called “liquid gold”. 67% Come in January and April 2022, according to the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policy (PASO), While sunflower oil (also known as marigold oil) increased by 63.6%.

As can be seen in this video posted on Twitter, consumers are almost desperate to get oil in the supermarket.

Like in the country Colombia and Mexico The increase is almost one 40%When like others Guatemala, Panama or EcuadorThe increase is more than the average of 6 Twenty%.

Ecuadorians have also taken to social networks to express their discomfort with a one-liter bottle at US $ 6 in some stores.

These are approximate values ​​that try to reflect growth averages in different parts of a country, but without a doubt, growth will depend on the neighborhood, city, supermarket and oil brand.

According to BBC Mundo correspondents, looking at the price of a liter of vegetable oil in dollars, one can get an idea of ​​the price of a product with a minimum wage in some countries.

Sunflower oil and war

Of all the vegetable oils available on the market, the one that is the rarest and therefore, the most expensive is sunflower oil.

Known as the “Granary of Europe”, Ukraine and Russia According to an expert company analyzed by ISTA Mielke GmbH, a global oil market based in Hamburg, Germany, sunflower oil exports accounted for 71% last year.

With war Supply Down to the lowest level, a problem that is compounded by declining production in recent years that has already plagued the market.

A big concern

Alejandro Betancourt, an oil expert at ISTA Mielke GmbH, says global vegetable oil production has shrunk in recent years.

The price of the main four Oil —Sunflower, palm, rapeseed (canola) and soybean — “tripled since 2019.”

He told BBC Mundo that the situation had worsened in the last two months due to the war Ukraine And a sharp decline in palm oil exports due to low production and export bans in Indonesia.

“There are major concerns about food inflation and the deterioration of food supply,” he noted.

Triple Crisis

And the future doesn’t look very promising at the moment, explained Gustavo Idigoras, president of the Argentine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Its market Oil “It simply came to our notice then. “We need to be prepared for at least a two-year high price from the moment the war ends,” he told BBC Mundo.

The situation is Complex This is because the various reasons for the current rise in prices have come together, even outside the drought that is affecting global production.

On the one hand, the use of oil has increased by ending the epidemic War Supply in Ukraine has decreased.

But there is another element to the game, he explains, which is fundamental: the high demand for vegetable oils in the food industry. Biofuels.

“This is a triple crisis due to epidemics, biofuels and war,” Idigoras said.


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