German producers are warning that French fries and crisps will become scarce due to the war in Ukraine

After the oil industry, potato processing companies in Germany are now sounding the alarm. The war in Ukraine is not the only reason why sunflower oil is becoming a scarce commodity. The same will soon be true for French fries and crisps. Horst-Peter Karos, chairman of the Federal Association of Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Processors (Bundesverband der Obst-, Gemüse- und Kartoffelverarbeiter, BOGK), said this in an interview with n-tv.

Ukraine is the world’s largest exporter of sunflower oil

All because an important ingredient in French fries (6-8%) and chips (about 12%) is sunflower oil. However, Germany meets as much as 94% of its sunflower oil needs through imports, with only 6% coming from domestic production.

The world’s largest exporter of sunflower oil is Ukraine (51%), closely followed by Russia (27%). There is already a shortage of sunflower oil on the market, and if hostilities continue, the situation could get even worse.

Canola oil will replace sunflower oil?

Therefore, manufacturers are already looking around for substitutes. Rapeseed oil, among others, is coming into play. Germany is one of the largest exporters of this product in the world. However, it is expensive due to the high demand. In addition, producers have yet to test the extent to which they can replace sunflower oil with rapeseed oil in their large industrial fryers,” says Horst-Peter Karos.

However, the problem does not only concern sunflower oil. The war in Ukraine has also caused gas prices to skyrocket. This makes it more expensive to operate large industrial fryers, which are usually heated with gas. According to the Federal Association of Processors of Fruits, Vegetables and Potatoes, the situation is further exacerbated by the loss of many Ukrainian workers who worked as drivers and workers in the logistics and agricultural sectors.

Prices of French fries and fries in supermarkets will rise

According to BOGK, manufacturers will now negotiate prices with trade representatives due to rising production costs. Generally speaking, this means one thing for customers: chips and fries will be more expensive.


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