SPAIN’S most severe drought ever recorded is causing anxiety for olive farmers.
According to weather pattern simulators, continuing dry conditions could force 2014’s olive harvest to fall by up to 40% from last year.
Spain produces half the world’s olives and more olive oil than any country in the world, meaning that a decreased yield would drive olive and olive oil prices up worldwide, likely to their most expensive rates ever, according to speculators.
Droughts have already spiked olive prices up 30% since the beginning of the year, causing worry for farmers and distributors that the crop may become less affordable to many.
Current world olive oil consumption hovers at 2.3 million tonnes a year, a number which has increased thanks to China and India’s growing interest in the product.