The price of olive oil is expected to rise as heatwaves and a lack of rain in Italy, Spain and Portugal are impacting harvests and production.

Agriculture Minister for Spain Luis Planas told Bloomberg News that this year’s olive harvest could be “notably lower than previous ones” if there is no temperature relief or rain in the coming weeks.

He added: “The olives sector is concerned about oil production.”

Planas explained that Spain accounts for just under half of global production of olive oil, and that heatwaves – in combination with disruption from the conflict in Ukraine – would keep prices of vegetable oil high.

Major olive oil supplier Acesur told the BBC that the cost of disruption to production in the affected countries would feed through to retail prices within the next three to four months.

The company sells to more than 100 countries and produces more than 200,000 tonnes of olive oil a year. Miguel Colmenero, export manager at Acesur, said customers could see prices rise by 20-25%.

In recent weeks, Italy has reported its worst drought in 70 years. It is estimated by The Guardian that Italian production of olive oil could be 20-30% lower than in the summer of 2021. Production of apricots, peaches and pears are also expected to be affected by the heat.