Olive Oil Adobe Stock 121810889

Olive Oil Prices Up 130% to New Record

Sept. 21, 2023
Droughts and other adverse weather in growing regions are tightening supplies of the prized oil.

As severe weather -- droughts in some growing regions and floods in others -- impact producing areas, olive oil prices have surged more than 130% from year-ago prices, hitting $8,900 per ton in September, according to USDA.

That price “quickly surpass[ed] the previous record of $6,242/ton set in 1996 with no sign of easing,” the Agriculture Dept. reported. The average price for the full month of August was 130% higher than the year before, “driven by the realization of off-year growing cycles and extremely dry weather in much of the Mediterranean.

“Prices have risen steadily since the extent of the damage to the harvest became apparent,” USDA continued. “However, more recent concerns over supplies in Spain (typically 45% of global exports) sent prices skyward as the market attempts to ration supplies towards the end of the marketing year. As a result, olive oil consumption is forecast flat or down in 2022/23 for every single country except Turkey, where the government recently banned bulk olive oil exports in an attempt to ensure domestic supplies and alleviate price pressure even with record domestic production.”

CNBC reported some 50,000 liters of extra virgin olive oil, worth about $450,000, were stolen from one of Spain’s oil mills in late August. CNBC also cited commodity market intelligence firm Mintec as predicting Spain’s olive oil production would be less than half its typical output, around 610,000 tonnes.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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