There is a short-term crisis with the beginning of this season's olive oil crop: "The market is on fire," said a trader. Wet weather has kept both Italian and Spanish pickers out of the olive groves at a time when they were expecting to start harvesting. Since there is very little reliable carryover stock and traders had been buying short in anticipation of a heavy crop, rates for extra virgin firmed by £100/tonne more or less overnight. While both Spain and Italy have had too much water, Greece has had too little, with the result that the crop is likely to be shorter than predicted. Reliable Tunisian tonnages are also likely to be hard to find and short. The long term picture is not causing any immediate panic in Spain, where harvesting lasts longer. But in Italy, where the crop is a month late because of access problems, packers are starting to get a bit more nervous in their search for oil. {{PROVISIONS }}