Salad dressings are getting ever more expensive. Consumer prices for olive oil have climbed by an average of 10% worldwide this year due to drought and disease in southern Europe. In Spain and Italy, which jointly account for 70% of the world's olive oil, production has fallen by around 50% owing to unusually hot weather and a bacterial disease known as "olive ebola". In two southern Italian provinces where the disease is rampant, officials have declared a "state of calamity". The bug has now reached olive groves in Corsica.
Meanwhile, demand remains buoyant, with retailers and distributors keen to buy 12% more olive oil than exporters were able to deliver last month, says Sarah Butler in The Guardian. Stockpiles in Spain are now at "critically low levels", according to industry researcher Oil World. Prices have jumped to near-record highs, with the main benchmark, Spanish oil, at over $4,200 a tonne, a level not seen since 2006.
Andrew is the editor of MoneyWeek magazine. He grew up in Vienna and studied at the University of St Andrews, where he gained a first-class MA in geography & international relations.
After graduating he began to contribute to the foreign page of The Week and soon afterwards joined MoneyWeek at its inception in October 2000. He helped Merryn Somerset Webb establish it as Britain’s best-selling financial magazine, contributing to every section of the publication and specialising in macroeconomics and stockmarkets, before going part-time.
His freelance projects have included a 2009 relaunch of The Pharma Letter, where he covered corporate news and political developments in the German pharmaceuticals market for two years, and a multiyear stint as deputy editor of the Barclays account at Redwood, a marketing agency.
Andrew has been editing MoneyWeek since 2018, and continues to specialise in investment and news in German-speaking countries owing to his fluent command of the language.
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