You might want to hold the EVOO on your next salad: Severe droughts in major olive oil-producing countries are causing a global spike in prices, and according to a new report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), costs here in the United States are up by more than 100%.
“Global olive oil prices topped $8,900/ton this month, driven by the realization of off-year growing cycles and extremely dry weather in much of the Mediterranean,” the USDA noted in its findings, which were released last week. “The average price in August was 130% higher than the year before, with prices quickly surpassing the previous record of $6,242/ton set in 1996 with no sign of easing.
Spain, which the USDA stated typically produces 45% of global olive oil exports, has suffered drought conditions for months, along with other major producing countries.
“Adding to the complexity of the situation are concerns about reduced production in other major European olive oil-producing countries, including Italy and Greece, where drought conditions prevail,” Kyle Holland, an analyst with commodity market intelligence firm Mintec, told CNBC.
And NBC News reported that the soaring prices have led some to steal what’s now being deemed “liquid gold.”
“About 50,000 liters of extra virgin olive oil in one of Spain’s oil mills, Marin Serrano El Lagar, were stolen in the early hours of Aug. 30,” the publication noted, equating the theft to about $450,000.
If the drought persists, Holland warned that supplies could be exhausted before October.
“Further complicating matters is Turkey’s decision to suspend bulk olive oil exports,” the analyst told NBC, detailing the country’s price-surge-based decision to keep their product in-house until Nov. 1. “The suspension has worsened the already limited volumes in Spain.”
Source : Silive