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Big Grocery Shock Looms as Food Giants Face Cooking Oil Risk

  • Top shipper Indonesia will halt exports to ease local shortage
  • Costs for the likes of Nestle and Unilever may rise on the ban
People purchase cooking oil in Surabaya, in Indonesia.

People purchase cooking oil in Surabaya, in Indonesia.

Photographer: Juni Kriswanto/AFP/Getty Images

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Indonesia’s shock move to ban exports of cooking oil will reverberate across the world, threatening to push up costs for the likes of Nestle SA and Unilever Plc and heightening concerns about food inflation. 

The world’s biggest shipper, Indonesia, will halt some cooking oil exports from April 28 after a domestic shortage led to street protests over high food costs. This will squeeze already tight supplies of vegetable oils and add to the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that’s thrown sunflower oil trade into chaos.