Drought could force surge in olive oil price

THE price of olive oil is expected to go through the roof in months to come as Spain labours under a drought that’s strangling production of the crop. At the same time in Italy, a disease known as ‘olive ebola,’ Xylella fastidiosa, has led to the country officially declaring a “state of calamity” in the industry.
This is the second year of official drought in Spain. Olive production usually works on a two-year cycle, with one year producing higher yields. The 2014 crop should have been a bumper year, but dry weather meant a low harvest, with farmers in the current heatwave now looking at a third poor year in a row.
They are now hoping for rain in September which could help production recover, but that is by no means certain in this topsy turvy climate.
And there remains the fear that the disease decimating ancient olive groves in Italy could still spread.

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