“The disruption of this ubiquitous ingredient will put further strain on the US food system,” he said.
And price increases “will exacerbate the challenging cost environment US companies have faced over the past year,” Katie Denis, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Brands Association, said in a report this month.
Other countries are feeling the pain: Ukraine’s top export markets last year were India, China, the Middle East and North Africa and the European Union, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Rema 1000, a Norwegian supermarket chain, is considering returning to the sale of palm oil, which it had previously banned for environmental reasons, and its Danish branch has limited shoppers to three bottles of oil.
But that approach could be exacerbated by an Indonesian ban on palm oil exports, weather-related global shortages and war-induced market tightness, Oil World, a group of industry analysts, 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 diving into their stockpiles of sunflower oil.
“At some point, no more oil will be added to the warehouses,” he said. “I can’t get my hands on sunflower oil right now, not in any volume that counts.”
He added: “I think without a doubt we have to face an emerging shortage, and start thinking about adaptation and replacement.”
Henrik Pryser Libell reporting contributed.