While crude oil is down 10% this year thanks to an incredibly volatile market thanks to the continued Russian-Ukraine conflict, another oil is spiking and there is one that can’t be refused.
Olive oil has skyrocketed over the last year, and extra virgin olive oil is now at the highest level since records were kept in 1990. As of April, olive oil has now reached $6,269.63 per metric ton- a spike of 46% since April 2022. At the consumer level, this means it breaks down to $6 a liter when buying from a wholesaler. That price is then doubled or more when broken down for the retail market.
US-based brand Filippo Berio has called this year’s season “the most challenging on record, with the lowest crop yields in 30 years.” With Spain now making up 40% of the olive oil market, their extraordinary drought this year took its toll on the crop. Facing the hottest summer on record and one of the driest, the trees simply could not produce as they needed to.
Producing just 680,000 tons of olive oil, they are a far departure from their usual 1.37 million tons according to the Olive Oil Times. With these climate changes impacting some of the biggest olive oil-producing countries Spain and Portugal, the rush is on to source new places to grow the olives.
Many believe this could result in further expansion of the olive oil industry in California. Sadly, between Democratic lawmakers’ attacks on the farming industry, and tourism dollars from vineyard tours, the more profitable wine community has largely taken over the same land that the olive oil producers would be using.
Without real relief that bottle of extra virgin olive oil could quickly become just virgin come next year. Where would we go from here? Quinoa oil?