Extra virgin olive oil prices are up almost 10%, with little sign of the sourcing situation improving.
Trade prices in Spain, Italy, Greece and Tunisia – the top four producers – have been rising throughout 2014 and this year, with extra virgin olive oil at an all-time high in Italy, according to British Baker sister title The Grocer.
The impact of supply issues is being felt in-store with the average price of a litre of extra virgin olive oil now £5.30, up 9.5% since January [Nielsen data].
The cost increases mean speciality bakers could also be forced to raise their prices, as the cost of producing breads, such as ciabatta and focaccia, increases.
The situation is not set to improve, with hot, dry weather in Andalusia – which accounts for 75% of Spanish production – raising concerns of ongoing reduced production.
Meanwhile, olive trees in Italy have been affected by Xylella fastidiosa bacteria, causing many to be felled. The spread of the infection was branded an emergency by officials as further spread looks likely.
However, if the harvest later this year returns to more normal levels, prices should ease, although not significantly.