Spanish heatwave threatens international exports

The Spanish drought is starting to affect the olive groves and vineyards, after several regions are constantly reaching highs of over 40 degrees Celsius.  


The supplies of olives and wines are under threat from a drought throughout Spain, and lack of rain could bring disaster for this year’s harvest.


Extreme temperatures and less rain than average has started to cause devastation across Spain’s agricultural industry, with many saying it’s the worst drought they have seen for decades.


Around half the country’s territory is in a state of emergency due to the drought. Spain started the summer with its reservoirs at 56%, the lowest in the month of June since 1995.


In Jaen, Andalucía, the main area in Spain for olive production, growers are warning that if lack of rain continues, it will severely impact a harvest that has already suffered from a run of dry years.


The olive harvest, that runs from October to November, was already a lot worse last year than in 2015. The province’s secretary of the Coordinator of Growers and Ranchers’ Association, Juan Luis Ávila, said that the best they expect is a poor repeat of last year.


Over in the UK, prices for olive oil and wine are predicted to increase due to this year’s Spanish harvest.


Spain is the world’s leading olive producer and provides up to 50% of global supplies of olive oil and 35% of table olives.


Spain is also another huge contributor to the international wine market, so now, while tourists are enjoying the scorching sun, Winemakers are hoping that a break in the weather could salvage a year that has so far seen production drop by up to 50% in some regions.


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