Because of the 2012 drought in Spain and Southern Europe, followed by an unexpected frost during olive flowering season, wholesale olive oil prices have taken a significant jump. In Spain alone, oil output is expected to drop by 40 to 50%. World production leader Andalusia is reporting the 2012 harvest to be the worst in 13 years.
According to The Olive Oil Times, prices on the international market have gone up by more than 50 percent over the last six months, with extra-virgin oil prices up by 62%.
Because of these market pressures, there is much more incentive for producers to adulterate oils, increasing fraud in the industry. This makes it even more important to buy from a store that has tastings such as New Seasons, and Pastaworks.