New Zealand is experiencing the most rapid decline in the number of household oil-slick kitchenware imports, and it’s the result of poor supply.
The latest data from the New Zealand Institute of Food Research shows a drop of 43 per cent since July.
This is up from a 20 per cent drop from July 2016.
It’s not just the number falling that is concerning.
New Zealand imports from other countries are also dropping.
In July, New Zealand imported 1.7 million litres of petroleum-based cooking oil from Malaysia.
That dropped to 930,000 litres last month.
New Zealand imports $16.5 billion worth of cooking oil and foodstuffs each year, and a majority of this is imported from Asia.
That means New Zealanders will have to eat less in the coming months.
It is a big worry, particularly as oil prices have been climbing for months.
Oil slick kitchenproducts are a key ingredient in many household foods, including soups, stews, stoves, salads and condiments.
It can also be a source of flavour, with products containing oil slick ingredients such as avocado, onion, celery and beetroot.
The New Zealand government is urging its manufacturers to keep up with the supply and to replace oil slick products with standard kitchenware.
But it is also worried about the supply of kitchenware in the country.
New Zealander David Jones, a food safety specialist, said it was very important that the supply remained high.
“I think it’s a very important point to make, particularly in the kitchen and in the home as we go about things in the day, to have the supply in there,” he said.
“It’s really important that we have that supply in, and we don’t have a shortage.”
The NZIFR report also says that, while the number has dropped, imports have remained stable, with New Zealand importing 2.2 million litres from the United States last month, a record.
It said there were a number of factors that were affecting the supply.
For example, New York imported 2.4 million litres last year, but the US import to New Zealand was not as high as it has been this year.
Food safety experts are concerned about the high demand for cooking oil in New Zealand.
Food Safety Officer Chris Gough said some people were trying to get rid of their cooking oil by cooking at high temperatures.
He said people would use it as a replacement for rice when it was boiling, and they might also boil it before use to ensure it was ready.
“They might do that with vegetables or fruit or even meat, because it’s not good for the environment to use that,” he told 7.30.
“So I think it is a very worrying trend.”
Dr Jones said there was a lot of demand for kitchenware and the supply was low, with many people struggling to find quality cooking oil.
“There is still a lot to be done to address the issues that we are seeing, but we do need to be doing a lot more to increase the supply,” he explained.
“We need to make sure that we don