`Rising Sunflower Oil Prices Present Opportunities and Challenges in Spain - Olive Oil Times

Rising Sunflower Oil Prices Present Opportunities and Challenges in Spain

By Ephantus Mukundi
Apr. 6, 2022 12:38 UTC

The con­se­quences of Russia’s inva­sion of Ukraine are being felt far and wide. Aside from the con­sid­er­able human suf­fer­ing inflicted by the con­flict, com­mod­ity prices, includ­ing sun­flower oil, have risen sharply.

Sunflower oil is widely used in food man­u­fac­tur­ing and in the restau­rant and hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor as a fry­ing oil.

Since the war started, more than 200,000 tons of sun­flower oil have been held up in Ukraine. With cur­rent stocks expected to last a few weeks, sun­flower oil prices have risen by 64 per­cent.

See Also:Transportation Strikes in Spain Lead to Decrease in Olive Oil Exports

United States Department of Agriculture data indi­cates that sun­flower oil accounts for nine per­cent of global edi­ble oil con­sump­tion. Ukraine and Russia are respon­si­ble for 80 per­cent of global sun­flower oil exports.

However, the scarcity of sun­flower oil has given an oppor­tu­nity for Spanish olive oil to fill the void.

I like to say we have an ace up our sleeve,” Primitivo Fernandez, pres­i­dent of the national asso­ci­a­tion of edi­ble oil bot­tlers, told Reuters. In Spain, bot­tled oil con­sump­tion is guar­an­teed because we have enough olive oil.”

The indus­try group esti­mates that Spain will have 1.5 mil­lion tons of olive oil and 250,000 tons of olive pomace oil to make up for the short­fall of sun­flower oil imports.

Luis Planas, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, said olive oil is already being sold as an alter­na­tive cook­ing oil.

I have per­son­ally ver­i­fied in the super­mar­ket that some olive oils are labeled as oil for fry­ing — a prac­ti­cal demon­stra­tion that it can and should be used for such,” he said.

Juan Vieites added that the Spanish National Association of Manufacturers of Canned Fish and Seafood, of which he is the sec­re­tary-gen­eral, has also turned to olive oil to replace sun­flower oil.

However, he warned that prices would go up as olive oil is more expen­sive than sun­flower oil and may give a stronger taste to canned prod­ucts.

Ruben Moreno, the sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Spanish Confectionery Association, also cast doubts about the effec­tive­ness of replac­ing sun­flower oil with olive oil for baked goods, but will do it where pos­si­ble.

The sit­u­a­tion was per­haps best encap­su­lated by Alejandro Aguilar, a chef from Ronda, a small moun­tain­top city in the heart of Andalusia, the largest olive oil-pro­duc­ing region in the world.

The plan is to fry with olive [oil],” he told Reuters. There’s no other option. I don’t like any other oils.”


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