Olive Oil Production Is Being Threatened by a Heat Wave in Spain

Italy is also experiencing its worst drought in 70 years, which isn't helping the potential shortage.

There has been no shortage of supply chain issues this summer, but as a result, there have been a lot of other shortages—hummus, sriracha, movie theater popcorn. Now, scorching temps in Spain are threatening another coveted commodity: olive oil. 

According to Travel + Leisure, a record-setting heat wave—which has been dubbed "Zoe"—is diminishing olive production. 

"If there is no temperature relief or rains in the coming weeks, this year's olive harvest could be notably lower than previous ones," Spain's Agriculture Minister Luis Planas told Bloomberg

Per the Olive Oil Times (yes, there's an entire publication dedicated to olive oil), Spain is the world's largest producer "by a wide margin." In fact, it accounts for nearly half of the world's supply. While Italy is also a key olive oil producer, the country is facing a drought of its own—the worst in over 70 years. So they're not much help in relieving the burden on Spain. 

As a result, both Spain and Italy are expecting smaller olive harvests. Demand for olive oil and a decrease in sunflower oil supplies has only made the burden that much worse. Italian virgin olive oil is already up 27% in price compared to two years ago. Meanwhile, the European Commission reports that the price of olive oil is up 19% above the five-year average in Spain. 

 "After an initial shock caused by the Russian invasion to Ukraine in March, E.U. olive oil prices slightly relaxed but remain still well-above the five‑year average," the commission report states, according to the Olive Oil Times

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Megan Schaltegger is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist.