Lazy eyes listen
According to this week’s report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), global olive oil prices reached record highs in September, reaching $8,900 per tonne as a result of severe droughts in major producing countries.
Prices have progressively escalated since the magnitude of the harvest’s devastation became clear, it added, noting that the average price in August was 130% higher than the previous year. Last month’s prices soon eclipsed the previous high of $6,242 per tonne established in 1996, “with no sign of easing,” according to the USDA report.
Olive oil prices in Andalusia, Spain, reportedly surged to €8.45 ($9.02) per kilogramme in September, the “highest price ever recorded for Spanish olive oil” and a 111% increase year on year.
The USDA warned that as a result of supply concerns, olive oil consumption is forecast flat or down in 2022-23 for every country except Türkiye, where the government recently banned bulk olive oil exports in an attempt to ensure domestic supplies and alleviate price pressure even with record domestic production. This month, the USDA revised 2022-23 global olive oil production down to 2.5 million tons, a quarter lower than both the previous year and the five-year average.
“Concerns about production in 2023/24 are also exacerbating the price spike as hot and dry weather returns to the Mediterranean,” the USDA stated.
According to CNBC, rising prices have led to theft in some circumstances. Approximately 50,000 litres of extra virgin olive oil were apparently stolen from a Spanish oil plant in late August, according to the site. That’s allegedly more than €420,000 ($450,000) in olive oil. According to local media accounts, criminals stole 6,000 litres of extra virgin olive oil from another mill not long before.