Erratic Weather and Surging Global Demand Cause Spike in Olive Oil Prices
An opportunity for consumers to explore new world olive oil?
Challenging weather in Spain and Italy, the world’s biggest olive oil producers, is driving down production just as demand is surging in China and other emerging markets. The result is a sharp spike in global olive oil prices, according to Bloomberg News.
Spain, Italy and Greece have endured poor harvests in recent seasons with Italy poised to fall by perhaps 50% this year and Greece by about a quarter. One analyst is forecasting about an overall 8% decrease in global production this year.
As a result, prices for extra virgin olive oil have soared by nearly a third in Italy since October and by about 10% in Spain, according to the International Olive Council in Madrid.
“For farmers and growers anywhere, bad weather and disappointing harvests are just a difficult challenge of the business,” acknowledged Adam Englehardt, Chairman of the Board of the American Olive Oil Producers Association (AOOPA). “For today’s olive oil consumers, rising prices for Mediterranean oil are an opportunity to explore the flavor and value of the high quality olive oil now produced in many other parts of the world, including in America. We are certain high quality American produced extra virgin olive oil can earn their continued support.”