Extreme hot weather sends olive oil prices soaring in EU countries

Extreme hot weather sends olive oil prices soaring in EU countries

Latest harvest saw significant decrease in EU’s olive oil production

By Ata Ufuk Seker

BRUSSELS (AA) – ​​​​​​​Olive oil production decreased in southern Europe due to extreme hot weather and drought, sending prices soaring.

With 2 million tons of olive oil produced on 4 million hectares of olive grove (nearly 10 million acres), EU countries provide two-thirds of the global production and also produce 900,000 tons of table olive.

Spain is the biggest producer, providing over half of the union’s total production. Spain’s production was nearly 1.8 million tons five years ago and decreased to some 663,000 tons in the 2022-2023 harvest season.

Italy, Greece and Portugal follow the country.

There was also a significant decrease in olive oil production in Italy and Portugal.

Greece’s production soared to 340,000 tons in the last harvest from 232,000 tons in the previous crop.

Against this background, prices of olive oil skyrocketed. According to IMF data, prices in May exceeded the previous high level in 1996.

Inflation and the increasing fertilizer costs made the prices soar even further after May.

A liter of virgin olive oil was €1.86 ($2.04) in August 2020 and has now climbed to €7.82.

Agricultural expert Juan Vilar from Spain spoke to Anadolu and drew attention to the constant increase in olive oil prices.

He said prices will increase because stockpiles are swiftly declining and production does not meet the demand.

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