Olive oil prices surge over 100% to record highs and spark cooking oil thefts
Olive oil prices have surged to unprecedented highs due to a combination of a weak harvest in some Mediterranean countries, India’s ban on European exports, and poor demand due to supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 restrictions. Prices have risen over 100% since December 2020, and this has sparked cooking oil thefts in some areas. In Italy, olive oil theft has become so prevalent that some producers have resorted to employing night watchmen and installing motion sensors. In Spain, large producers are investing in a tracking system to monitor olive oil inventory. The surge has also affected the livelihoods of millions of olive farmers who depend on the crop for their income. Consumers have also been hit, with some Italian brands raising the price of their extra-virgin oil by up to 60%.