Heat and drought are pushing oil prices to record highs in Spain — olive oil prices, that is. Olive oil is both a culinary and economic staple in the country hit by repeated heatwaves and prolonged drought in recent years. Olive oil stockpiles are in danger of running very low before the start of next harvest.
“I can’t reiterate how low that is, it’s completely unheard of in the market,” oilseeds and vegetable oils analyst Kyle Holland told the Financial Times. “This is not just your really high qualities, it’s all olive oil.” Spain produced just 620,000 tons of olive oil during the 2022-23 harvest, down from 1.5 million tons the year before.
Temperatures in Spain, and across Europe, are soaring at the moment. In southern Spain, Loja hit 113°F earlier this week with more than 100 weather stations reporting 95°F temperatures at 6:00 am Wednesday morning. Temperatures were also expected to hit dangerous levels in Italy, Greece, and France where nuclear power plant operators are preparing to reduce power output due to high river temperatures. (Olive oil: FT $; Spanish/European heat: AP, Bloomberg $; French nuke plants: Reuters; Climate Signals background: Extreme heat and heatwaves, Drought)