Pwani Oil, maker of Fresh Fri, Salit and Fry Mate cooking oils, has announced temporary closure of its oil plant for the lack of access to enough dollars to import the raw materials it needs.

According to a statement from the factory’s commercial director Rajul Malde, the decision was arrived at due to lack of US dollars that are used “in paying for imports of crucial raw materials”. In the statement, Malde further blamed the economic disruption resulting form the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine for its troubles.

“The global supply chains have been severely impacted by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In addition, some countries like Indonesia have suspended export of crucial commodities like palm oil. Manufacturers here in Kenya have not been spared by the aftershocks of these unprecedented disruptions coming in the wake of the prolonged Covid crisis,” part of the statement read.

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The manufacturer however assured its customers as well as employees that the business will remain operational despite the challenges and the products will be available in stores.

“Given the prevailing challenges, Pwani oil has temporarily halted its operation at Kilifi refinery as we work to solve the problem. We however wish to assure our customers, employees, partners and other stakeholders that this is a temporary measure and that the business will remain in operation and our products available in retail outlets,” Pwani oil noted.

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In Kenya, commodity prices have been increasing with the Russia-Ukraine war's impact being felt. Cooking oil is among commodities whose prices have more than doubled in the last two months, with the latest development meaning the prices could only go higher, than drop.

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