Local restaurant owners face price hike dilemma over rising vegetable oil prices

Vegetable oil prices have soared in recent months, forcing local restaurant owners to decide whether to raise prices on customers.

Shane Castille, owner of Thee Heavenly Donut, used to pay $29 for a block of vegetable oil. In the last two months, the price has jumped to $78.

Worldwide, vegetable oil prices hit a record high in February before increasing another 23% in March, The Washington Post reports.

The supply chains for the major vegetable oils—palm, canola and sunflower—have been disrupted by various events including the war in Ukraine, a ban on oil exports in Indonesia, and droughts in Brazil.

Suppliers told Castille that prices were supposed to go down, but the opposite happened. He says he’s not sure exactly why his shop’s oil is so expensive.

Many national companies have had to increase their food prices to offset the rising cost of the oils. 

Thee Heavenly Donut will have to do the same soon, Castille says, as vegetable oil is currently the shop’s costliest ingredient.