Pressing matters: Olive oil prices are soaring

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Squeezed higher

The price of olive oil has hit a 26-year high, with a metric ton of the greeny-gold goodness costing nearly $6,000, per the latest data from the IMF.

The spike in prices comes after a prolonged period of high demand — as consumers cooked more at home during the pandemic — but the biggest factor in the recent spike has been supply.

No rain in Spain

Olive oil royalty, Spain, has had an extremely difficult year. The country has endured months of poor weather, with droughts across key regions and 36 consecutive months of below-average rainfall. During the October-February season, the country reportedly produced a yield of just 630k metric tonnes of olive oil, less than half of the 1.4-1.5 million that’s usually expected.

The price spike means that olive oil is, even more than usual, considerably more expensive than actual oil (crude oil). In fact, assuming that a barrel of crude oil weighs ~135kg, a metric ton of crude oil would set you back around $500… less than a tenth of what the same amount of olive oil would cost.

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Pressing matters: Olive oil prices are soaring
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