Why olive oil prices are skyrocketing

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The olive crop in the U.S. isn’t faring much better. The harvest in some parts of California is down because of the state’s prolonged drought and a winter cold snap, according to Olive Oil Times. Growers are also dealing with environmental disputes over how to dispose of the curing and brining solutions involved in olive processing.

Soaring olive oil prices are hurting Europe’s already struggling economy. The southern European countries produce more than 70 percent of the world’s olive oil, and last year received nearly $2.2 billion from exporting the commodity, according to The AP. The U.S. imported more than $800 million of that total.

Butter prices have also soared this year on extremely high export demand. U.S. dairy farmers have been sending more shipments overseas to such countries as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran instead of stockpiling them. Butter prices surpassed $3 a pound in September, hitting an all-time record, but have fallen since then to $1.92 a pound Monday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

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