As many as a third of fish and chip shops could be out of business by the end of this year due to global shortage of cooking oils.

Fish and chip shops around the country are in crisis due to a global shortage of sunflower oil caused by conflict between Ukraine and Russia - with the two nations being the two biggest producers of the oil, growing around 75 per cent of the world's supply between them.

According to the National Federation of Fish Friers, up to a third of fish and chip shops may be forced out of business by the end of this year due to the increase of prices for oil.

York Press: Mr Chippy York use palm oil over sunflower oil Picture: Emily HornerMr Chippy York use palm oil over sunflower oil Picture: Emily Horner

Max Potts, manager of Mr Chippy takeaway, in Church Street in York city centre, said: "We are not experiencing the shortage yet, though our suppliers are having to embargo the orders due to having less supply than the demand.

"We use palm oil instead of the sunflower or vegetable oils, and some people are switching now over to beef dripping - they're all around the same price but there are different supplies and demands.

"We have not increased our prices as we had already increased our prices late last year due to the cost of living crisis, though we had not expected the Ukraine crisis on top of that.

"We may notice more of a shortage after the summer months as we head into Autumn."

In 2019, Ukraine was the world's largest exporter of sunflower oil, supplying 48 per cent of the global sunflower seed and oil exports, with Russia supplying the second largest amount at 24 per cent of exports, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity.

As a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the prices of sunflower, rapeseed and palm oils have increased as traders have struggled to secure supplies.

Russia also produces 45 per cent of the world’s white fish, and therefore this is leading to more competition between other countries, contributing to increase of prices.

Mr Chippy use palm oil as a more sustainable alternative to sunflower or vegetable oils, which they did so before the Ukraine conflict.

In 2020, they added 'vegan fish and chips' to their menu, using banana blossom as a fish substitute, which can be served with their homemade vegan tartare sauce, due to already having a following of vegetarian customers due to their use of palm oil.