If you bookmarked Carolina Gelen’s recipe for Orange-Cardamom Olive Oil Cake to bake on a rainy day, do it now. Olive oil is about to get a lot more expensive. According to a recent BBC report, olive oil prices could increase between 20 and 25 percent in the next 3 to 4 months. A combination of factors—namely the headline-grabbing heatwave in Europe and production delays due to the war in Ukraine and the pandemic—are forcing olive oil producers across the globe, but particularly in Spain and Italy, to raise prices.
“The harvest demand and situation we’re seeing right now is not great, and is hugely due to the climate this year,” says Carlos Agudo, founder of Branche, a DTC brand offering single-source olive oil directly from Spain. For starters, May, June, and July had, on average, the hottest temperatures on record in over 20 years in Spain, says Agudo. Spain’s production of olive oil alone accounts for between 45 to 50 percent of the world’s production. In the last year, Agudo’s witnessed the retail price of olive oil increase by about 35 to 40 percent. He estimates that it could rise again by 15 to 20 percent later this year—and that’s a conservative amount.