Olive Oil Prices Are At An All-Time High And May Get Higher

If you regularly use olive oil for cooking, you might want to consider stocking up on your supply soon. Unfortunately, doing so may be challenging, as the price of olive oil has risen noticeably in recent months. According to data from theĀ International Monetary Fund, the price per metric ton of olive oil was more than $6,000 in April, marking the highest rate since January 1997. Just a few months later, that price has soared to $9,000 per metric ton in August and is likely to climb even higher. This makes it more than 10 times as expensive as the current price of crude oil.

The main issue stems from extreme weather conditions in Spain, which produces about half of the world's olive oil. Droughts, wildfires, and oppressive heat have led to a staggering 50% drop in the country's olive supply. Moreover, drought has affected olive yields in other oil-producing regions like Portugal, Tunisia, Morocco, and Greece. In Apulia, Italy, the olive supply has been damaged by recent storms.

No price relief in sight

Normally, October would bring some relief in the supply and price of olive oil worldwide, as the month marks the beginning of olive harvest season in Spain. However, with current supplies already dwindling and little harvest available to press new oil, the prospect of decreasing prices looks grim. Olive oil has earned a reputation as a nutritious and excellent choice for cooking. According to Healthline, olive oil has a high level of antioxidants and "healthy" monounsaturated fats, and may help prevent strokes. It's also impressively sustainable; olive trees can bear fruit for decades, sometimes up to a full century.

But low supplies and high prices are not the only concerns consumers face when it comes to olive oil. Unfortunately, issues like these often give rise to theft, which drives prices even higher, and the sale of imitation olive oil. If you're worried about fraud, make sure to always check your olive oil bottle to determine its origin and harvest date to avoid unintentionally purchasing olive oil that's lying about its authenticity.