SPAIN has kept its crown as the world’s leading exporter of olive oil, despite fears that the hottest summer in 60 years could lead to a huge fall in output.

Official government figures show exports increased by 5.4% in the year to September, but a predicted 58% drop in output blamed on the higher-than average summer temperatures could force prices to soar.

The figures come from new data published by food-industry group Cooperativas Agro-Alimentarias.