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Climate Change Is Severely Affecting Olive Oil Production In The World

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Climate change has been adversely affecting the world over the years. One of the most recent impacts can be felt in the production of olive oil in Europe.

The deadly heatwave that has been plaguing most of Europe has caused a direct decrease in the production of olive oil in Spain and Italy.

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Recently Seville, and other parts of southern Spain, experienced the world’s first-ever named heatwave. ‘Zoe’, as it is called, pushed temperatures well over 100 degrees, followed by record-setting heat surges in June and July. These triple-digit temperatures are threatening the country’s olive oil production.

The marked decrease in rainfall is also raising concerns about the olive oil production in the region. “If there is no temperature relief or rains in the coming weeks, this year’s olive harvest could be notably lower than previous ones,” said Spain’s Agriculture Minister Luis Planas in an interview with Bloomberg.

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Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in the world and accounts for nearly half the world’s olive oil supply, making this sudden decrease in production worrying for the rest of the world as well.

“As Spain accounts for the lion’s share of global olive oil production, these [harvest] reductions would see a significant tightening in global availability,” said Kyle Holland, an analyst for market research group Mintec, in a statement to The Guardian, “Looking forward, market participants are expecting prices to continue to rise unless the weather improves and gives crops some respite.”

Another big producer of olive oil, Italy is also facing trouble with its oil production because of the effects of the rising temperatures and the resulting drought on the crops. Experts are claiming that this is the most severe drought to hit Italy in 70 years.

Analysts claim that Italy’s olive oil production could be down by 20-30% this year, resulting in the price of Italian olive oil rising up 27% compared to the average cost two years ago. In Spain, the price of olive oil has gone 19% above the five-year average.

Vegetable oil is in severe trouble, as evidenced by the rising prices and demand of olive oil across the world. Supplies of sunflower oil are also decreasing because of the ongoing war in Ukraine. So you can expect oil prices to remain on the rise for the years to come.