The price of olive oil has gone up a lot, so much so that we're seeing prices over nine euros a litre - something unheard of.
The reason for this is the effect that the drought has had on olive harvests so until we get a season of abundant rainfall in manageable quantities so that soil has time to soak it up, these prices are going to remain in this elevated manner.
The Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, said as much, and for once, the farming sector and the Ministry seem to agree on something.
Unseasonal weather also affects the sector because back in May the abnormally high temperatures killed off lots of the olive blossom, which derived in a smaller crop.
The fact is that this harvest is the second one in a row that was about the half quantity of a ‘normal crop,’ which has incurred enormous loses; some 383m euros.
Inevitably, when the price-per-litre soars, demand plummets because people switch to cheaper cooking oil, such as sunflower oil. In fact, it is calculated that consumer demand has dropped 30% because of present prices.
The Federación Española de Industriales Fabricantes de Aceite de Oliva, reported that the price at origin was 8.3 €/L, this September, which is 49% more expensive than in May. When we look at shelf prices in supermarkets, the Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios (OCU) having examined 19 brands in ten large supermarket chains, found consumers were having to pay 9.42 euros, on average, per litre.