The Real Reason The Cost Of Vegetable Oil Is At An All-Time High

Supply chain issues continue to plague the food industry in 2022. Produce groups across North America rallied together in November 2021 to address an inevitable shortage of fruits and vegetables, per CTV News. Canada faced particular pressure as a result of no offloading room at ports, and food that workers normally would offload in 15 days sat aboard ships upwards of 60 days. As a result, the country saw some significant spoilage of produce, and between labor shortages and various disruptions, consumers had a harder time getting affordable produce.

The problem doesn't stop in Canada. According to Reuters, shoppers across America have noticed store shelves with less produce as a result of many factors. Poor weather conditions and fewer truck drivers only make the freight transportation of food that much more expensive. Due to sky-high freight costs, some growers have decided to hold off on shipping their goods until prices settle. All of these factors have combined to form a perfect storm that has resulted in very noticeable shortages at grocery stores nationwide. And one particular staple has now reached an all-time high.

Vegetable oil prices are through the roof

According to Food Dive, global vegetable oil prices rose 4.2% in January 2022, marking an all-time price high for the product. The problems that have caused these high prices look similar to other food markets. Labor shortages, poor weather, and more have contributed to limited abilities to transport the oil to market, leading to rising costs. While issues have plagued the transportation of this particular type of oil, the demand hasn't relented. Vegetable oil ranks as an incredibly attractive commodity in a select few countries, but due to high demand and limited availability, consumers have felt the cost hit home in hard ways.

Oil markets have seen some major troubles for months. Insider reports that the vegetable oil market has felt the crunch throughout 2021, and as a result of rising costs, thieves have resorted to stealing used vegetable oil and then reselling the goods for upwards of $1,500. This expended oil can do more than cook french fries or fry chicken — vegetable oil can transform into biodiesel fuel. Due to the rising demand, some restaurants lose thousands of dollars of stolen oil. For now, expect to pay extra for vegetable oil, and expect to feel the vegetable oil crunch for some time to come.