The price of olive oil has shot up in supermarkets. / sur

Olive oil price rockets by 50 per cent in Spain and is likely to keep rising

This year’s harvest is expected to be one of the worst ever due to the lack of rainfall, and production costs are more expensive

ATLAS / EUROPA PRESS JAÉN

The price of olive oil has risen so much in Spain that a litre bottle from supermarkets now costs 50% more than it did at the beginning of this year, and it is likely to continue increasing because farmers are describing this year’s harvest as “disastrous”.

The lack of rainfall and more expensive production costs are behind the increase in price. “A five-litre container was 28 euros and is now 39.40 euros,” supermarket sources have told SUR, and the COAG association in Jaén, the province where the most olives are grown, said the start of the olive harvest has been even worse than expected and may be no better than the worst ever, in 2012-2013, when only 142,849 tonnes of olives were picked.

Pessimistic forecasts

Official figures from the Junta de Andalucía showed that 587,000 tonnes of oil would probably be produced in the region this year, which would be 49.1% lower than last year and 47.5% below the average for the past five years.

In Jaén, expectations are even lower, predicting a drop of 60% compared with last year. “The lack of rain in October and November was very unusual and that is what has made us lower our expectations,” sources at COAG said.