Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Olive oil shortage: UK prices set to rise as crops suffer 'disaster' year with no reserve

Experts say prices in supermarkets could rise by up 20 per cent in the next few weeks 

Extra-virgin olive oil 

A major shortage of olive oil has been predicted, as an industry body warns crops have suffered a devastating year and there is no reserve.
Drought and disease have combined to cause a 'disaster' for the olive oil industry and prices are set to soar in Britain's high street supermarkets, according to a new report yesterday.
A terrible harvest in some Mediterranean countries, a drought in Spain and the spread of Xylella fastidiosa bacteria in Italy - which infected more than one million trees - has hit the industry significantly.

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The latest Mediterranean olive harvest will end this month and suppliers warn there is unlikely to be any let up from a worldwide shortage of olives and rising prices.
The 2014/15 season was so poor in Spain and Italy - the world's biggest producers of olive oil - that there was no annual carryover of supply, leaving bottlers with very low available stocks and facing substantial price rises, trade magazine The Grocer reports.
The wholesale price of Italian extra virgin olive oil has risen by 14 per cent, while the same product from Spain is up 20 per cent.

Olive grovesOlive groves  Photo: PAUL GROVER 

It is forecast that the wholesale price increases will filter down to shop shelves.

Lisa Mullins, marketing manager of Filippo Berio UK, said: "Typically, olives are a cyclical plant - they have a good year, a bad year and a good year.
“While a weak harvest is usually not a cause for concern, 2014/15 was a disaster."

Olive trees in Puglia, ItalyOlive trees in Puglia, Italy  Photo: Alamy

The International Olive Oil Council forecasts final global production figures for the 2015/16 harvest will be below the average consumption level of the past four years, making price increases inevitable.

Olive trees in Tuscany, Italy Olive trees in Tuscany, Italy  Photo: Rex 
The International Olive Oil Council forecasts final global production figures for the 2015/16 harvest will be below the average consumption level of the past four years, making price increases inevitable. 


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