The cooking oil sector has requested that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe review its weekly grant of US$500,000 per member. The price of edible oil raw materials used in the production of cooking oil jumped from $950 per tonne to $2,000 per tonne as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. This is because the allocation has not changed much over the last several months. As a consequence, cooking oil has become more scarce in the majority of supermarkets.
According to some sources, the cooking oil industry requires around US$40 million per month however they are getting US$16 million which is less than half of what the sector requires. It is no wonder therefore that we are seeing shortages in the market with most supermarkets we visited having run out of 2 Litre bottles. We saw a lot of customers being left with no choice but to buy these smaller bottles.
We have lobbied for an adjustment of the weekly amount as part of food security measures given the global supply dynamics so we are no closed out and unable to secure stocks later in the year post harvest.
The president of Oil Expressers Associate of Zimbabwe said that the country should also focus on soybean and sunflower production in order to try and fix the shortfall. Currently most cooking oil is made from imported oil seed.