[7 August/ Stuff]

Olives New Zealand’s Executive Director Gayle Sheridan said wet, cloudy conditions over winter decreased the oil content in the fruit, and growers had been unable to let fruit ripen more fully because of frosts and hungry birds, cutting the country‚Äôs crop in half. Although the yield was still high quality, local production had decreased by 50 percent, severely curtailing the 400,000 litres of oil New Zealand normally produces annually. Mr Sheridan said some regions had no harvest at all. The New Zealand situation has been worsened by a shortage globally, which may increase imported olive oil prices by 10 percent in New Zealand; however local olive oil prices would likely remain the same.