Sunflower oil

Some South African retailers have started rationing sunflower oil purchases. Image via Unsplash

Sunflower oil supply on slippery slope: SA retailers start rationing

Due to a shortage in edible oils, some SA retailers have started rationing the amount of sunflower oil purchases per customer. Take a look…

Sunflower oil

Some South African retailers have started rationing sunflower oil purchases. Image via Unsplash

Panic buying is on a high once again in South Africa due to a short supply of edible oils being imported into the country because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

As a result, some retailers have started rationing cooking oil. These include Woolworths and Pick n Pay which are not allowing customers to buy too many bottles of sunflower oil when shopping online or in-store.

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Pick n Pay has placed a limit of two-litre sunflower oil to no more than four bottles per order on its online store. Meanwhile, Woolworths is rationing the sale of one two-litre bottle of sunflower oil per customer.

In March, Oxford Supermarket had already set a limit of four bottles of five-litre oil per customer. However, the store revealed that customers were sending car guards into the store to purchase this product for them instead.

ALSO READ: ‘Increases are coming’: More price hikes for cooking oil in SA


According to Business Insider, South Africa only produces 800,000 MT tons of oil per year and imports 30% to meet local demand. The country depends on both Russia and Ukraine and other countries in the Black Sea region to help it meet demand which is reportedly growing at 2% a year. 

However, there’s no need to panic buy as the industry will still be able to ensure there is enough cooking oil to meet normal demand, says Morne Botes, commercial director for SOILL.

“If, however, in the short term, there is a significant spike, then we cannot produce stock fast enough, and therefore, there might be out of stocks. Prices will increase, and that is a reality,” he previously told the publication.

The outlet also reports that prices on South African retail shelves are expected to rise by approximately 35% in the short term or between R99,99 and R119,99 for a bottle of two litres of sunflower oil.

As it stands, a two-litre bottle of sunflower oil at Woolworths costs R99,00, while Pick Pay is running a promotion for R89,00.

Screenshot image via Woolworths website

Screenshot image via Pick n Pay website