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Olive oil prices jumped almost 20% in 2015

Source: City AM - Mon 8th Feb 2016
Olive oil prices jumped almost 20% in 2015

Bad news, olive oil fans: your favourite salad dressing got more expensive last year.

Bad weather and disease hurt Europe’s olive harvest in 2015, while the continent’s top producers suffered fierce competition from Tunisia, which used a bumper harvest to leap into the world’s top exporter position.

All that means the price of olive oil has jumped almost a fifth.

European shoppers spent an extra €231m (£178m) on olive oil in 2015, after the retail price of oil jumped 19.8%, the FT reports.

This means olive oil was now worth 17 times the value of crude oil.

Global production for the 2014-15 crop year was 25% lower than the previous year’s harvest, according to the International Olive Council (IOC).

Spain, which makes just over a third of world output, suffered a drought which slashed production. Italy's slump followed a fruit fly infestation .

The slowdown in emerging markets also hit the olive oil trade, the IOC said.

Imports into Russia fell 33% and Brazilians bought in 8% less. Trade with Australia and Canada also fell, but imports to China and the US held firm.

The IMF's latest commodity report said olive oil was worth $4,658/tonne (£3,212) in the final quarter of 2015.

This was just over 1% higher on the year but lower than the previous 3 months.

Next year's prices - and the cost of your dressing - will depend on 2016's harvest. Early estimates from the IOC were for 2015-16 olive oil production to bounce back 22%.

Recommended Reading :

* No cause for alarm as oil prices skyrocket

* Spain clamps down on Olive Oil

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