SHOPPERS are being hit with soaring olive oil costs after drought in Spain badly affected the olive harvest.

Wholesale prices have increased by 30% since June, with experts warning the costs will have to be passed on to consumers.

Spain produces an average crop of 1.2 million tonnes annually, but this year’s harvest is expected to be 40% down on last year, dropping from 1.6 million tonnes to less than a million.

“After 18 months at rock bottom, olive oil wholesale prices are soaring and suppliers are warning of inevitable price hikes in-store,” said Filippo Berio UK managing director Walter Zanre.

“There was some hope prices would settle down again in September but this has not happened – prices are still rising.

“It also means it is almost impossible to buy, because everyone who has stock is sitting on it hoping the price will go up even further.”

He continued: “The price rises are such that they will have to be passed on.”

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