Romanian-made edible oil, most expensive in Europe

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In Romania’s stores, the Romanian-made edible oil costs at least 6 lei, namely 1,69 euro/liter – the average exchange rate standing at 3.55 lei/euro – whereas this product sells for 1.2 euro at the most in the other European states.
 
Due to the shortage of raw materials, hike in fuel price and the sale policies of the big store chains, the price of edible oil is continuing to rise. It rose 10% in April alone.
 
In the past 12 months, the rise in the edible oil price stood at 80%, the biggest price rise for a food staple.
 
According to the Saptamana financiara magazine, the edible oil factories are closed one by one, making room for the real estate businesses that are booming on their former sites.
 
The latest cease of production cured ay Unirea Iasi (north-east), where the majority shareholder Bunge has already started the job-cutting procedures.
 
"Just like other big companies, Bunge has followed the idea of buying everything it could to keep other investors at bay. After buying the factories, it started to implement its development plans, which referred only to closing these factories. The first to be closed were Muntenia Sud and Interoil Oradea, and now, Unirea SA. The minimum investment made by these investors in Romania has already been recouped. Now, they are making profit from the sale of the plots of land,” said the president of the Food Industry Trade Union Federation, Dragos Frumosu.
 
Out of the 20 edible oil-making factories that existed in 1989, only 5 are operational at present.
In the past one and a half year, 10-12 such factories have been closed. Through these closures, the total production capacity has reduced from 400,000 tonnes/year, recorded 10-15 years ago, to some 180,000 tonnes/year at present.
 
Romanians are among the biggest edible oil consumers in Europe. The statistics have found the average consumption per capita stands at 11 liters per year.
 
The estimates show last year the local market was worth some 200 million euro, and the dominant edible oil – 84.1% – is the sunflower one.
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