Olive Oil Prices Are Climbing (Again)

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You could experience sticker shock next time you pick up a bottle of olive oil at the supermarket. Here's what's behind the jump in price.

If you thought the price tag on that bottle of olive oil was too high last year, prepare yourself (and your wallet) because the cost of olive oil is expected to go up – again.

The global production of olive oil has taken a big hit the past few years. Unseasonably warm weather, drought, olive-eating insects and a disease devastated much of Europe’s olive crop in 2014, causing olive oil prices to soar by 20 percent in 2015.

Unfortunately for olive oil lovers, your wallet won’t get a reprieve anytime soon. Industry experts are predicting a similar 20 percent climb in olive oil prices this year, CNN Money reports.

Olive farmers in Spain – which typically produces a whopping 40 percent of the world’s olive oil – have struggled with two consecutive years of unusually hot summer weather. Spanish farmers said the 2014-2015 olive harvest was their worst in two decades, and the 2015-2016 harvest is better but still weak, according to CNN Money.

Things aren’t much better in Italy, which produces about one-fifth of the olive oil in the world. A deadly bacterial disease has wiped out more than a million of that country’s olive trees.

With the world’s consumption of olive oil at an all-time high, and olive oil production drastically reduced — the impact is what you might expect: high prices.

According to the Olive Oil Times, global consumption of olive oil has increased 1.8-fold since 1990-1991. But olive oil’s recent climbing price tag is enough to turn some shoppers away and prompt them to switch to alternative, cheaper oils.

Sticker shock and the problem of watered-down” fake olive oil on the shelves could make 2016 a rough year for olive oil lovers.

Has the climbing price of olive oil hit you where it hurts? Share your experiences below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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