“I kept using grapeseed oil because grapeseed oil is good for the body, but it has become expensive. So, I bought sunflower oil. Are all oils the same? I don’t even use a lot of cooking oil, and I don’t really know what grapeseed oil is good for.”
On the morning of the 16th, a housewife in her 50s met at a large mart in Seoul, picked up grapeseed oil, put it down, and explained the reason why she chose sunflower oil instead. At this mart, grapeseed oil is sold at 13,000 won for 900 ml, and sunflower seed oil at 8,000 won.
Another customer in his 60s put a bottle of cooking oil into a shopping cart and shook his head. When asked if the shopping cart price seems to have gone up a lot, he said, “There is nothing that has not risen, such as vegetables, meat, milk, etc., as well as cooking oil.” He pointed to sliced frozen pork and said, “I usually shop for 300,000 won, but today I can’t afford to buy meat. I couldn’t put it outside,” he complained.
A customer who bought a bottle of 1.8L soybean oil said, “The price has not gone up yet,” said the employee, “Isn’t it going to go up soon? Then I’ll have to buy more.” He picked up another bottle.
This morning, the cooking oil corner was filled with cooking oil by brand and type. The price was high, and there was no sign of a sell-out crisis.
Nevertheless, the mart side was closely monitoring the sales situation. An employee in charge of the cooking oil corner said, “There was no out of stock, but I was instructed not to fill it up right away,” he said.
As the price of cooking oil, an alternative, rises due to the effect of Indonesia’s export restrictions on palm oil, there are signs of hoarding due to anxiety. Although there is no major problem in supply and demand, the self-employed have started to purchase cooking oil in bulk due to concerns about an additional price increase, and individual consumers are also buying more cooking oil than necessary. In response, some marts are limiting the number of edible oil sales and appearing to take a preemptive response.
According to the distribution industry on the 18th, warehouse-type discount stores such as Costco and E-Mart Traders recently limited the number of edible oil sales to 2 per person, and Coupang also limited the number of edible oil purchases to 10 per person the day before. For some items, the number of purchases per person is one. As of this morning, the only general edible oil that can be purchased through Coupang rocket delivery is Haepyo grapeseed oil, which is sold in a bundle of 12 900ml bottles at 58,500 won.
Lotte Mart Mall limits the daily maximum purchase of 1.7L large-capacity products to 15. At Lotte Mart Mall, some products were sold out at one time as sales of cooking oil increased by 50% compared to usual. E-Mart Mall does not yet have a limit on the number of purchases, but in some stores, some edible oil items that can be purchased through delivery are out of stock.
The industry explains that the shortage of edible oil online and offline is due to a temporary increase in demand, not a shortage of supply. An industry official said, “Even though there is not a shortage of goods, as the news of the ‘Cooking Oil Crisis’ spread, consumers who would normally buy one contain one more.”
Edible oil manufacturers also say there is no disruption in supply. An official from an edible oil manufacturer said, “The manufacturer has never reduced production and there is still no disruption in supply.”
In fact, the edible oil supply and demand situation in supermarkets used by general consumers is still good. The three major supermarkets (E-Mart, Lotte Mart, Homeplus) and Nonghyup Hanaro Mart do not impose restrictions on the quantity of cooking oil purchased at general stores. An official from a large mart said, “Even though the sales of cooking oil increased by 40% compared to the same period last month, there is no problem in supply and demand.”
However, if the Russian-Ukraine war continues and international raw material and grain prices continue to rise, there is a possibility that the price of cooking oil will rise further. This is because self-employed and general consumers may flock to marts where there is no limit on the quantity purchased before the price rises.
A distribution company official said, “It is not yet a situation worthy of being called a ‘disruption’, but we do believe there is a demand to buy it before the price rises further.” ” he said.
Source: 세계일보 by www.segye.com.
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