If you too are struggling to find sunflower oil for sale in your supermarket, know that you are far from alone. In this Carrefour de Claye-Souilly, in Seine-et-Marne (77), for more than an hour, dozens of customers walk with their shopping carts and take turns blowing. ” Always not ? plagues an elderly lady, followed by her equally destitute husband. “No, there still isn’t,” says a man in a videoconference with his wife who pulls a pout on the phone screen. “It’s the third store I’ve been to and I still can’t find one,” each tell in turn Ghislaine, 49, and Camillia, 20.
And the scenario is similar in dozens of supermarkets in Île-de-France: Leader Price, Aldi, Leclerc, Franprix, Netto, Intermarché… Several of our Internet users on our Instagram account have sent us videos of empty shelves from the Seine. -Saint-Denis, Paris, Val-de-Marne, Val-d’Oise and Yvelines. The security guard at the city’s Aldi supermarket confirms this: “We haven’t had one for a week. And it’s no use going to the Lidl next door, it’s the same. »
The reason for this lack? The war in Ukraine. As France is 80% dependent on the two sunflower exporting countries of Ukraine and Russia, the current conflict in the area has had a significant impact so far. To the point where several brands have decided to ration the number of bottles of oil on sale. Carrefour has chosen to sell a maximum of six bottles per customer. This is more than at the Lidl in Plessis-Belleville, in the Oise (60), or the Intermarché de Sevran (93) which only sell a maximum of three liters. And the case is not limited to France.
Already in March, supermarkets in Spain began to ration the sale of sunflower oil. The oil supply being more difficult than usual, large retailers fear disproportionate purchases from (too) far-sighted customers in the event of a shortage or a surge in prices.
Several representatives have hammered in recent days that there was no risk of shortage on all the products marketed. As the E.Leclerc group told us on Thursday: “The brand does not plan to ration sunflower oil. Today, there is no risk of shortage noted, there is stock. We therefore want to reassure consumers and invite them not to change their consumption habits so as not to create a disruption”.
However, no response on a potential price increase. Contrary to Michel Biéro, executive purchasing and marketing director of Lidl France, who announced to the Parisian “an inevitable increase”. On the side of Carrefour, radio silence, “the group does not wish to communicate”. The boss of System U, Dominique Schelcher, specified for his part at the microphone of Radio Classique that there are currently “a few precautionary purchases” but that one could not speak of “complete shortage of supply “.
At the end of March, the Ukrainian Minister of Agriculture estimated that the Russian invasion risked halving the next grain harvest. The Ukrainians “will sow wherever possible” but only “50% to 75% of the territories” will be able to be exploited, underlined Mykola Solsky, who also indicated that many farmers had “joined the army or the defense territory”, creating a labor shortage.
And the lack of oil is also felt among catering professionals. Tiffany, 20, sent by her boss-caterer sighs: “We have nothing left in stock. And without oil you can’t do anything. There, we have to replace our sauces for example. We buy industrial mayonnaise, already made, we are disturbed. »