A bumper sunflower harvest is expected in SA next month
As the world comes to grips with rising cooking oil prices due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, supermarket chain Choppies anticipates prices to normalise this month.
This is because of an expected bumper harvest of sunflower in neighbouring South Africa beginning in May. “We will be able to determine with confidence where prices will go at the end of next month when the South African harvest of sunflower starts,” said the CEO of the Choppies Group, Ramachandran Ottapathu.
Ottapathu added that prices of cooking oil across Choppies stores increased by at least 25 percent in the course of last month because of increased prices from suppliers.
Cooking oil prices have been affected by the Russia-Ukraine war because the two countries are major suppliers of sunflower seed and cooking oil itself.
Media reports say the war sent prices of several essential commodities soaring, including edible oils which were already in short supply over the last few years after poor harvests of sunflower, palm, soya and canola in crucial regions of the world.
The war erupted during Ukraine’s critical March/April planting season, which bodes poorly for prices going into 2023. In just two months, the price of sunflower oil has surged 55% and canola oil by 40%, though the increases will only start to reflect on retailers’ shelves in coming weeks.