Bulgarian cooking oil market: 15 big players

The war in Ukraine, main player on the sunflower oil market, has blown up world prices, but the market is already calming down. In Bulgaria, business is worth billions, mainly for exports, and the big players are about 15.

Beeld: ©ProAgro

Panic  buying, overstocking, people fighting in supermarkets. This is a snapshot on the Bulgarian cooking oil market in March 2022. What caused that is the war in Ukraine and fears that the absence of a key supplier on the market will cause a shortage in supply. And, indeed, the global markets saw the price of sunflower and cooking oil go through the roof briefly and the panic did not spare Bulgaria, reports Capital daily.

Right now, however, panic does not seem justified. Bulgarians consume some 100,000 t of cooking oil a year. It is one-eighth of the domestic production. Some 500,000 t are exported every year.

Even though the register of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency shows 109 companies that process and/or bottle plant oil, there are some 15 large and medium-sized producers and their production is predominantly export-oriented. The top producer is Oliva, which does not produce for the domestic market. The key players on the local market are Klas, Papas and Biser Oliva. Their financial reports in the recent years show an upward trend in their business and aggregate revenues at over BGN 2 billion and profit of BGN 90 million.  

The government vowed to control excessive pricing through its control bodies. A ban on export is not foreseen, which is crucial for the sector. In 2021 the sector exported sunflower oil and refined oil for over BGN 1 billion, and the domestic market is equal to half of this amount.

An agricultural machine letting out a stream of harvested wheat grain.
Beeld: ©Couleur

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