2024 sees olive oil prices hit record high

Factors driving up the price of olive oil

Stock image of olive oil. Credit: DUSAN ZIDAR/Shutterstock.com

Is your kitchen feeling the impact of soaring olive oil prices? According to recent trends, the high prices look set to continue.

2024 has seen a dramatic surge in the cost of this staple commodity, fuelled by a combination of climatic challenges and international trade restrictions.

Unprecedented surge in olive oil prices

The new year has brought with it an unexpected and sharp rise in olive oil prices. The core of this surge is found in Andalucia, Spain, and Turkey, the two pivotal players in the global olive oil market.

Andalucia is currently grappling with severe drought conditions which has made the problem worse. Turkey, which ranked third in global olive oil production last year, has imposed export limitations. Both these issues have contributed significantly to the market’s instability.

Price escalation in Jaen, Spain

In Jaen, the heartland of Spain’s olive oil production, prices have reached a staggering €9 per kilogram for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). This represents a 20 per cent increase, marking a significant shift from the price drops observed between October and November.

The Anierac bottlers’ association highlights, ‘Olive oil has become twice as expensive in the countryside, at origin, than in the factory and supermarkets compared to previous years.’

Historic price increases

Comparing current prices to those of previous years, the escalation becomes even more stark. EVOO in Jaen is now 70 per cent more expensive than it was just one year ago, and a staggering 260 per cent higher than two years ago.

This price hike is particularly significant considering the €2.1 per kilogram price point during the pandemic year of 2020.

Changing regional dynamics

The olive oil industry is witnessing a shift in its traditional production strongholds. Castilla-La Mancha is gaining prominence, overtaking regions like Granada and Malaga in production. This change is reshaping the landscape of Spain’s olive oil market.

The drought in Andalusia and Catalonia poses a significant threat to olive oil production, with speculation about potential shortages affecting market prices. The recent drought alert elevation has intensified these concerns.

International market shifts

Turkey’s decision to limit exports to the European Union has dramatically reduced European imports of Turkish olive oil by 55 per cent year-on-year.

This development, along with varying production trends in countries like Portugal, Italy, and Greece, is reshaping the global olive oil supply chain.

As the world grapples with these challenges, the olive oil market is at a crossroads. Climatic conditions, international trade policies, and shifting production dynamics are all influencing the future of this essential commodity, affecting consumers and producers alike.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.