Sri Lanka Runs Out of Cooking Oil, Hundreds of Bakeries Close

A severe shortage in cooking gas has forced nearly 1,000 bakeries in Sri Lanka to shut down, as the country’s economy experiences more impacts of its dwindling foreign exchange reserves.

Soaring prices of cooking gas due to the shortage caused bread prices to double to about 150 rupees ($0.75), according to NK Jayawardena, chairman of the Ceylon Bakery Owners Association, the largest group in Sri Lanka’s baking sector.

“If this situation lasts for one more week, 90 per cent of bakeries will have to close. Many bakers have taken out loans, they will not be able to repay them,” Jayawardena told local reporters on Sunday. “The government must find a solution urgently.”

Cooking gas retailers are also struggling to keep businesses afloat amid a lack of supplies.

Sri Lanka has been faced with a fuel crisis in the beginning of 2022 as a result of its foreign reserves shrinking 70 percent to $2.36 billion in January. The government has since struggled to find cash to pay for imports of essential goods including fuel, food, and medicine.

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