Last year’s bad Olive harvest, disease and drought are blamed for the predicted 20 per cent supermarket price rise in the coming months.
Wholesalers are warning that low production in Spain and Italy, Europe’s two biggest producers, will drive prices up. Southern Spain produces twice as much olive oil as Italy but with last year’s drought and being a cyclical crop, as in a good yield follows a bad one, this year is not looking good.
They are already using reserves to support the market. Italy has problems too with the outbreak of Xylella Fastidosa bacteria infecting more than a million trees. The bacteria leads to what is known as “olive quick decline syndrome”, which ends with the death of the tree. It’s very sad for those families who’ve been working the same trees for centuries. While one bad crop in three is not ususally a disaster two or three in a row since 2014/2015 certainly is.
If you’re an Olive oil lover stock up now while prices remain low.