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Swedes churn a profit from Norway butter crisis

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Swedes churn a profit from Norway butter crisis
14:54 CET+01:00
Enterprising Swedes are looking to capitalize on Norway's ongoing butter shortage by offering the sought-after spread on popular buy-and-sell websites, with one seller hoping to score a Gibson guitar in exchange for a pack of margarine.

Swedish buy-and-sell site Blocket.se on Thursday included a copious number of ads from Swedes offering butter to suffering Norwegians at prices as high as 700 kronor ($100) per kilo.

Many of the sellers offered to deliver the butter to Norwegians desperately in need of the dairy product to fulfill their holiday baking needs, while at least one planned to be selling on-site in Oslo.

“We're in Norway now and on FRIDAY between 12.00 and 14.00 we'll deliver BUTTER in Oslo for only 400 kronor/kilo,” read on ad on Blocket.

Another seller calling himself “The Butter Man” (Smörmannen) touted what he considered to be a “great deal” involving a single package of Lätta-brand margarine.

“Will trade a TOTALLY NEW package of Lätta for a good steel stringed guitar,” the man writes in the ad, adding that he would prefer a “Gibson or equivalent”.

If an interested buyer doesn't happen to have a guitar, however, the “The Butter Man” said he would be willing to part with his box of Lätta for “a few thousand kronor”.

Swedes were also flocking to Norwegian buy-and-sell site Finn.no offering to help supply fat-craving Norwegians with Swedish butter.

"We can see that there are a lot of Swedes trying to earn a few kroner from this," Finn.no spokeswoman Lene Kallum told Norwegian state broadcaster NRK.

This week alone, the site had registered a staggering 124,590 searches for ‘smør', the Norwegian word for butter, and boasted more than 350 ads from private individuals looking to sell butter made in Sweden, Denmark, or Norway.

One Finn.no seller was even offering three unopened portion packs (plus one half-eaten mini-tub) for 12,000 Norwegian kroner ($2,000).

A representative from Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet also traveled to Oslo and set up a stand downtown offering 60 packages of butter for free, prompting passers by to recall the way in which Sweden helped Norway back in World War II.

“Back then you offered crisp bread, clothes, and shoes,” pensioner Ornulf Ruud told Aftonbladet.

“And now you're coming with butter. Sweden is fantastic.”

The gesture from Sweden almost moved Olso resident Per Morten Grøslie to tears.

“You're our salvation. Without butter, I can't eat my beloved rakfisk with lefse for Christmas,” he said, referring to the traditional fermented fish dish served on potato flatbread – which is most often served with butter.

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