Spain concerns send olive oil prices soaring

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Drought in Spain, which has raised expectations for the country’s grain imports, is provoking concerns of poor prospects for one of its main exports, olive oil, for which output may tumble at least 40%.

Prices of extra virgin olive oil rose 10% last month on the benchmark MFAO Olive Oil Exchange in Jaen, Spain, the top producer of the commodity, responsible for some 40% of world output.

For virgin olive oil, prices soared 21%, topping E2 a kilogramme.

The increases reflect concerns that hot and dry conditions are to prompt a repeat of 2012, when olive oil production halved, only to rebound strongly in 2013-14, which ends in September- in part because the previous crop’s poor performance allowed for improved flowering and fruit setting.

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