People are stealing massive amounts of olive oil around the world after surge in prices in recent months.

Why Does Olive Oil Cost So Much?

CNBC recently reported severe droughts in countries that known for olive oil production have be the main factor in skyrocketing prices.

The website said olive oil increased to $8,900 per ton in this month. To put that in consumer terms, the average price in August was 130% higher than what it was last year at that same time.

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"Spain, the world's largest producer and exporter of olive oil, has been battered by intense drought for months," CNBC said in its report.

As with many areas of the world, Spain has seen extreme heat throughout the summer leading to droughts that are affecting crops.

Where Are People Stealing Olive Oil?

Olive oil thefts aren't exclusive to small grocery stores. Many olive oil suppliers have reportedly be hit directly by thieves.

"The soaring prices, on what's sometimes referred to as 'liquid gold,' have led some to steal it," CNBC reported.

The website said one of Spain's oil mills is missing nearly 50,000 liters of extra virgin olive oil worth approximately $450,000. Thieves also struck a separate mill where they made off with 6,000 liters of extra virgin olive oil.

What's A Cheaper Substitute For Olive Oil?

Trends show olive oil prices will likely continue to increase. Better Homes & Gardens reports vegetable or canola oil might prove to be cheap alternatives to olive oil.

You just need to be prepared for a slight difference in taste and smell.

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The website states canola oil is your best bet as a substitute for sautéing, grilling, roasting or stir-frying since it has a similar "smoke point (meaning how hot the oil can get before it starts smoking)" to olive oil.

For salad dressing, Better Homes & Gardens says vegetable oil will have a similar texture while also having less flavor compared to olive oil.

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