Morne Botes of SOILL, maker of several oil brands offered in South Africa, has revealed that consumers should expect two litres of sunflower oil to cost up to R120 within the next month.
Sunflower oil prices have risen by 55 per cent and canola oil prices have risen by 40 per cent in just two months, yet the price increases will not appear on store shelves for another 30 days.
Botes, commercial director for SOILL, which owns the B-Well and African Gold oil brands, noted that consumers may anticipate oil to cost between R99.99 and R119.99 for a 2-litre container.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has jeopardized supplies and, more crucially, has put a stop to the planting season, which was set to begin last month.
Ukraine is currently stranded with millions of tons of sunflower oil that was supposed to be exported.
Whatever happens now, according to Botes, prices will remain high until at least September, when supply constraints may be eased if European crops are good.
South Africa imports more than a third of its oil, whereas Ukraine and Russia produce 60% of global oil.
“Before the war, there were already tight supplies,” says Botes. Prices have increased for retailers, but they have not pulled through to the shelves yet. Prices will move up from where they are today. The increases are coming. Some pricing might already have changed, but the full change in price is not visible yet.”
Producers, manufacturers, and retailers are now managing the price hikes, according to Botes, and they will be brought in gradually to avoid panic buying and to sell the available stock at a reasonable price.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine pushed up the price of a variety of important commodities, including edible oils like sunflower oil, which had been in short supply in recent years due to bad harvests of sunflower, palm, soya, and canola in key regions of the world.
The conflict occurred during Ukraine’s crucial planting season in March and April, which speaks ill for pricing in 2023.
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