Extreme heat, bacteria and flooding have cut olive oil harvests across Mediterranean countries with prices heading sharply upwards.
Unpredictable weather last year in Greece, Portugal, Italy, and Spain, coupled with fruit fly and bacteria outbreaks, have led to estimates that production is set to fall about 8% globally - and up to 50% at many European estates.
In Portugal, the Minister of Agriculture, Capoulas Santos, and many oilive oil producers predict a price hike due to the 30% drop in production last year, some 500,000 tonnes down on 2015’s excellent harvest figures.
Capoulas Santos, with a steady grasp of economics, said that, "when production falls, prices tend to rise."
Producers in the Alentejo, where 70% to 80% of Portugal’s olive oil is produced, say that price increases are inevitable.
Consumers may add fuel to the fire by stocking up but Lidl supermarket says it does not foresee prices rises at store level. Other retailers will follow theupward trend and with wholesale prices already rising, shoppers will see noticeable price rises through the year.