Sunflower oil and rapeseed oil are out of stock in almost the entire country. If you still find the bottles on the shelf, you sometimes have to pay usurious prices. The first discount stores sell the merchandise with a markup of 550 percent. We tell you how to proceed now.
At some Aldi branches, customers can buy Ondosol brand sunflower oil. As our editors discovered, the product is now part of the standard range.
The controversial thing: the discount store charges a whopping 4.99 euros for the 1-liter bottle. This made the cooking oil €3.20 more expensive than Bellasan brand sunflower oil, which is currently out of stock. If you look at the selling price of cooking oil at Aldi in January 2022, the price premium is 550 percent.
“We are always out of stock,” says a cashier at an Aldi branch near Aalen. “It sank like oil,” he jokes. Although the price was set very high, some customers even wanted to take an entire box. There would be 15 bottles there, in the box the buyers of the hamster would have had to pay 74.85 euros for it.
However, discounter leader Aldi, like its competitors Lidl, Penny and Netto Marken-Discount, have limited sales. Each customer receives only one bottle per purchase. The employees even make sure that those interested do not visit the branches several times a day to buy oil and thus buy oil several times a day.
Sunflower oil will soon be as expensive as olive oil
It is not an isolated case. In a branch of Munich Rewe was the Thomy brand product (“pure sunflower oil”, 750 milliliters) for 3.79 euros. Calculated per liter, that makes a selling price of 5.05 euros.
Seitenbacher organic sunflower oil is even more expensive. Here the manufacturer asks for a retail price of 3.99 euros for the 250-milliliter bottle. Calculated per liter, that makes a total price of 15.96 euros.
Industry experts even hope that sunflower oil will soon catch up with olive oil. The average price per liter is currently 6.50 euros. Organic products and special varieties from Italy, Spain or Greece are much more expensive, sometimes this olive oil exceeds 30 euros per liter.
When will cooking oil be available again in supermarkets and discount stores?
So far no one can give an answer to this question. The situation remains dynamic. Currently, manufacturers cannot meet the increase in demand fast enough. The situation could possibly have calmed down in the coming months. However, until then, there will be regular bottlenecks and delivery delays. Because after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, many people in Germany made large purchases of hamsters, the warehouses of the largest retailers also emptied.
According to authorities and industry associations, the supply in Germany is guaranteed. However, prices have risen and supplies often run out quickly in supermarkets. Industry experts stress that the situation is not as bad as it currently appears to consumers..
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is the reason for the challenges. Ukraine is the most important importer of sunflower seeds in the EU. Due to the war, farmers can only access 4.5 million hectares of sunflower cultivation. It remains uncertain whether the flowers can be harvested in these growing areas.
A third of the usual area is lost due to the brutal war. Therefore, the EU member states want to take countermeasures. Within the Union, the cultivated area will increase by five percent to 4.7 million hectares. Russia remains the world’s largest sunflower producer with 9.6 million hectares under cultivation.
In the upcoming 2022/2023 marketing year, oil-rich plants will only be on 26.4 million hectares of arable land, a good seven percent less than recently, the Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants announced. The association referred to the International Grains Council.
Avoid overpriced offers
In principle, consumers should ignore usurious offers. There are always offers on the Internet that sell sunflower or rapeseed oil for more than 50 euros per bottle. These prices are not related to production or shipping costs.
This article also appeared on FOCUS Online.