Is Olive Oil About to Get More Expensive?

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The price tag on the popular cooking oil remains reasonable in the U.S., but things might change soon.

The price of olive oil is expected to soar this year, thanks to dismal olive harvests in Spain and Italy, the world’s top producers of the popular oil.

“2017 will be very bad for olive oil,” Walter Zanre, head of Filippo Berio UK — which has been selling olive oil for more than 150 years — tells The Telegraph.

While an unusually hot and dry summer took its toll on olive crops in Spain, Italian producers have seen their olive groves devastated by the Xylella fastidiosa bacteria.

This is just the latest hit to the olive oil industry, which has seen prices skyrocket more than once over the past few years, as producers have dealt with myriad challenges, including flooding and fruit flies in addition to erratic weather and a deadly bacterial disease.

According to The Washington Post, British consumers are expected to have to fork over one-third more for olive oil by the end of 2017 than they have in the past. Prices are soaring in other European countries as well.

Thanks to a strong U.S. dollar, American consumers have so far been “immune” to hikes in olive oil pricing, The Post reports. But the Consumerist says the day of reckoning may be on the horizon:

While Americans do produce about half of our own olive oil, we import around half of what we use from Italy and Greece. With about half of the Italian harvest wrecked by fruit flies and bacteria this year, the shortages may catch up with us and affect prices on the shelf. If you have a bottle of the good stuff, guard it carefully.

Are you going to stock up on olive oil to guard against future price hikes? Share your experiences below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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