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That bottle of Extra Virgin olive oil could be about to jump in price as the crop in the country looks set to drop by a catastrophic 57%.
Italy could be dependent on imports of olive oil form as early as April according to soe reports and exports are sure to take a hit too. As scarcity comes to Italian olive oil in the summer months we’re bound to see surges in price meaning many will look to other countries oil as a substitute.
The crop has been adversely affected by severe weather events, with the country suffering unusual weather patterns such as erratic rainfalls, early spring frosts, strong winds and summer droughts. Extreme weather weakens the often very old olive trees making them vulnerable to outbreaks of xylella fastidiosa and olive fly infestations.
Many Italian rural communities depend on olive cultivation for their economies and a 57% drop in harvest will hit them hard. It caused thousands of olive oil farmers to take to the streets of Rome in protest last month wearing gilets aroncioni. Italy is not the only country affected and the European Commission has predicted that the olive harvest will fall be 20% in Portugal and 42% in Greece, with many experts predicting that the final figures will be far worse.