Does the shortage of sunflower oil make thieves and scammers dream?

The jungle of supply and demand. The world shortage of sunflower oil is one of the consequences of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, these two countries representing 80% of exports of this product. The yellow liquid has become rare and valuable, whetting the greed of occasional profiteers and the interest of delinquents. Is a phenomenon therefore in the process of being born and spreading?

In the event of a conflict, the prices of several things increase almost mechanically. Gold, as a safe haven, and raw materials from belligerent countries. In the case of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, we saw first the price of oil and gas soar, then the price of sunflower oil. According to INSEE, the price of a tonne of sunflower oil rose from 1,498 dollars in February to 2,250 dollars in March, a rate that had never been reached before. In supermarkets, the prices displayed remain affordable, between 1.70 euros per liter at Leclerc and 3.45 euros per liter at Carrefour, but the shelves are often desperately empty. The hard discounter Aldi has set up rations of three bottles per customer, except that arrivals are irregular and buyers are not very respectful.

Between 800 euros firm and 7,000 euros to joke

So many parameters that have applied the art of speculation to sunflower oil. Thus, on platforms like Ebay and Le bon coin, we see advertisements appearing for bottles of the precious liquid at prohibitive prices. On Ebay, the prices displayed are between 5.20 euros per liter to more than 25 euros for the same quantity. Even the most reasonable remains three times higher than the market price. Same observation on the Good corner, with nevertheless some advertisements which defy the understanding. A 10 liter container is quietly offered for the modest sum of 800 euros. Contacted by 20 minutesthe seller did not respond.

In another ad, an individual sells “5 liters of used sunflower oil, very little used”, for 7,000 euros. “It’s humor, because I find it abused that a country like France cannot produce its own sunflower oil”, explains the seller to 20 minutes. A third seller offers various 1 liter bottles with the only indication of price: “make offer”. When one presents oneself as a journalist, he advances a price of 4 euros per liter and the desire to “help people who no longer have it”.

370 liters of used oil stolen from a chip shop

The other drift caused by this shortage is of a criminal nature: thefts. Last Thursday, the managers of a chip shop in Coulogne, near Calais, in Pas-de-Calais, paid the price. Individuals broke into their truck in the middle of the afternoon and stole 370 liters of used oil intended for recycling.

“With the price of oil, resale prices in recycling centers have also increased,” explained the owner to our colleagues from France Bleu. The Hauts-de-France gendarmerie has confirmed “three similar facts” in three departments since the beginning of the year but rejects any idea of ​​a “phenomenon”. Same story at the Lille prosecutor’s office where “no case of this type” is currently on the prosecutor’s desk.

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