Amid Spain’s heat wave and dry spell, worldwide olive oil prices have reached nearly $5,990 per metric ton, says IMF
GENEVA / OVIEDO, Spain
After Spain, a major producer of olive oil, faced its driest April on record, olive oil prices have hit a quarter-century high.
According to the latest International Monetary Fund data, worldwide olive oil prices have reached a 26-year high of nearly $5,990 per metric ton, and experts say the hot weather in Spain is playing a big role in it.
“The issues contributing to prices trending at near all-time highs are largely poor weather and a severely dry growing period for much of the Mediterranean, but most importantly in Spain, which is a major producer and exporter of olive oil,” Kyle Holland, an oil analyst, told financial news network CNBC.
Last month was Spain’s hottest and driest April on record, according to a report released Monday by Spain’s meteorological agency AEMET.
In Peninsular Spain, the average temperature was 14.9C (58.82F) throughout the entire month – 3C higher than the historical average. The average daily high temperatures varied even more dramatically, coming in at 4.7C warmer than normal.
Southeastern Spain was the most affected, with “extremely hot” temperatures that brought average temperatures up to 5C warmer than expected.
The situation was especially staggering in late April, when a mass of hot, dry air from the Sahara sent temperatures soaring across the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, and Algeria.
The mercury hit 38.8C (101.8F) in Spain – previously unprecedented in the month of April.
Heat wave ‘almost impossible without climate change’
On Friday, climate scientists with World Weather Attribution released a paper stating that the extreme heat wave would have been “almost impossible without climate change.”
The experts found that a weather event like that only has a 0.25% chance of happening in any given year, but a warming climate has made it significantly hotter than it could have been during pre-industrial times.
To make matters worse, the extreme heat compounds the severity of the ongoing drought gripping the area.
According to AEMET, Spain just saw its driest April since recordkeeping began in 1961, with just 22% of the expected precipitation falling.
This is bad news for the country’s massive agricultural sector, which is grappling with failing crops and warning of fresh price increases due to a lack of production.
Some people in Spain are quite literally praying for rain this May, as it is generally the last chance before the dry, hot summer takes hold.
However, AEMET predicts that the rest of the month will remain hotter and drier than usual in most parts of Spain, with the exception of rains in the southwest that could come during the last week of the month.
Leave a Reply