Worcester fish and chip shops are being hit by a global shortage of cooking oil and the spiralling cost of fish.

Most of the UK’s sunflower oil comes from Ukraine and the product has been hit by supply-chain problems caused by Russia’s invasion of the country.

Mohammed Sayyab, owner of Seacrest Fish Bar on the corner of London Road and Wyld's Lane, said the price of sunflower oil had doubled in price in recent weeks.

Recent data showed cooking oil was one of a range of food staples to have its price shoot up.

The price of cooking oils and fats went up 7 per cent and is nearly a quarter more expensive than a year ago, the Office for National Statistics said on April 13.

Mr Sayyab said: “My supplier says they have enough in stock to last about four or five weeks. And there are no alternatives really. It all comes from Ukraine, and rapeseed oil also tends to come from Ukraine.”

Mr Sayyab said it is not just the price and supply of oil that is affecting chip shops at the moment.

Worcester News: Seacrest Fish Bar has not had to put its prices up yetSeacrest Fish Bar has not had to put its prices up yet

“The cost of fish and of flour has also gone up,” he said. “We are having to sell fish at a loss - if I started charging £10 or £11 for it, no-one would buy it.

“Our gas and electricity bills have also doubled. It’s a big struggle.”

Marios Diplaros, manager of St Peters Fish Bar in Abbotsbury Court, said the shop does not use sunflower oil but that the price of vegetable oil has also risen sharply over the past couple of months.

'We have had to put prices up, unfortunately'

“In the past two months it’s probably gone up by £7 a box,” he said.

“Fish prices have gone up but it’s not just that - it’s everything.

“We have had to put prices up, unfortunately. But we’ve only put prices up by £1 per fish, and we’ve put the price of chips up. But we are still doing well.”

Issues around the supply of cooking oil have also hit supermarkets, with some placing limits on how much customers can buy.

Tesco is allowing three items per customer while Waitrose and Morrisons have placed limits of just two items each.

Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland supermarkets, said his shops were having to ration sunflower oil sales to one bottle per customer.

But he added: “It is not as frenzied as the toilet roll panic buying from a couple of years ago.”