Speed Reads

Climate change

Is olive oil becoming a luxury?

Enjoy your beloved olive oil while you can. "Erratic weather" across the Mediterranean has ravaged the region's olive crops, The Washington Post reports, causing the price of extra-virgin olive oil to jump 30 percent in Italy, 10 percent in Spain, and 17 percent in Greece. Overall global production is set to drop some 8 percent this season, experts say.

Bloomberg explains the heat waves and other abnormal weather patterns causing the slump:

Hot, muggy weather in Italy attracted olive fruit flies and helped bacteria to flourish, damaging groves. The nation's production is expected to plunge as much as 50 percent this season. In Greece, last spring's heat waves are poised to cut output by about one-fourth. Floods in Andalusia, Spain's main growing region, ruined its harvest. [Bloomberg]

The strong dollar has so far mostly insulated American consumers against the price rise.