Rising olive oil prices continue to drive up the cost of Italy's and Spain's top dishes, even as inflation eases across Europe
Bloomberg's monthly indexes rose 8.2% and 20.6% in September from a year ago.
Rising olive oil prices continue to drive up the cost of top dishes in Italy and Spain, even as inflation eases across Europe.
Bloomberg's monthly indices, which measure how much households in Italy and Spain have to spend on pizza and paella respectively, showed an increase of 8.2% and 20.6% in September, compared to last year. And this, at a time when overall inflation was 5.6% in Italy and 3.3% in Spain in the same month.
In Italy, vegetable prices rose, while the cost of flour, mozzarella and the electricity needed to make pizza fell, Bloomberg notes.
In Spain there was also an increase in the cost of vegetables, but seafood and fish prices were down. What really stands out, however, is the cost of olive oil: in Italy it was up 43% on last year and in Spain it jumped 67 %. High olive oil prices in Europe will persist for another season, forcing consumers to reduce the quantities they use, the European Commission warned last week.
In particular, olive oil production in the E.U. in the 2022-2023 season was down nearly 40% on an annualized basis, while demand and exports were down. The 2023-2024 season we are going through is expected to show an increase in production, but only by 9% compared to the already low levels of 2022-2023.
Europe is responsible for two-thirds of the world's olive oil production and he is a huge consumer. Prices have roughly doubled in the past year after drought hit crops. Rising temperatures also favor pests and diseases.
Spain's agriculture ministry recently predicted another “bad” year for olive oil, with production estimated at 765,362 tonnes for the period that began on October 1. . That amount is 15 percent higher than last year, when output was cut in half, but still a third lower than the four-year average, according to government data.