In the second-biggest grower Italy, the bacteria xylella fastidiosa has shrivelled olive branches in the southern Puglia region. "Prices will rise by 30 to 40 percent because there will be fewer olives and therefore less oil produced," said one olive farmer in Puglia, Raffaele Piano.
"But quality will not be affected," he told AFP. "There is no cure. The only solution is to burn the infected trees to stop the bacteria spreading quickly."
Producers in parched Spain say they expect their prices to rise too over the coming months as the October harvest approaches, but hesitate to forecast by how much....
An amphora depicting olive gatherers, from the British Museum, public domain