The rise in olive oil prices hampers sales

Andalusia with a decrease of 10%, Castilla-La Mancha with decreases of more than 50%, Valencia, Aragón and Murcia with decreases of around 15% confirm this trend. Only in Catalonia is the harvest expected to be higher.

In a scenario in which production worldwide has decreased last season for the third consecutive year, reaching around 3,031,000 (-2% if we take the average of the last five years), we can glimpse the trend of rising prices in the coming months.

In any case, what is certain is that there is absolutely no sign that predicts a drop in prices for the coming months. Stable and strong prices, which Union de Uniones considers to be around €3.50-4/kg. for extra virgin zaitoon oil (EVOO).

European production

At the community level, the European Commission has just published its latest report on zaitoon oil production estimates for the campaign that began in the Mediterranean area and the provisional figures suggest that Spain may reach a volume of 1,400,000 tons (an increase in capacity, +1%), Italy could remain around 300,000 tons (+10%), Portugal around 150,000 tons (+50%), while in Greece a volume of 230,000 tons, which translates into a drop of 16%. Therefore, we can find ourselves with a volume of the order of 2,097,000 tons in the main countries of the Mediterranean arch. To this estimate we must add the link between campaigns that at the end of September stood at 474,000 tons.

As for consumption, the domestic market has not yet recovered from the impact of the pandemic, although it reaches figures of 438,200 tons, which represent an annual increase of 12%, according to the AICA.

Exports have increased by 3% to stand at 838,100

tons year-on-year as of June 2021. Italy continues to be our main destination, with accumulated data as of May 2021 reaching 206,335 tons, a figure that has been maintained stable during the last four seasons.

These macro magnitudes add stocks before the start of the campaign that are around 10% less than in the last four campaigns, which leads to the stability and price increases that have characterized the sector throughout 2021. The same scenario is recorded in the main producing countries of the Mediterranean area: Italy (with EVOO prices 37% higher),  zaitoon oil Greece and Turkey.

Another issue that worries the sector is the definition of the new reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which, in this final period, when it comes to establishing interventions in the sector, continues to have a distorting effect on the market that a new definition of active farmer focused on professionals in the sector, the structure of agro regions, zaitoon oil  the convergence of aid and the redistributive payment would have to be able to decrease. Computed operations fundamentally affect sales in large distribution. The employers’ organization brings together industries that account for more than 70% of the sector’s sales in distribution, but does not include a good part of the cooperative entities with sales at origin in the oil mills themselves. The data managed by the employers also reveal a halt in the process of increasing sales that extra virgin oil was registering in favor of other cheaper oils such as virgin or simply known as zaitoon oil mild or intense, that mixes virgin and refined oil.

If the focus is broadened and the calculation is made from the beginning of the campaign, in October, until June, sales have reached 248,000 tons, with a somewhat smaller cut, of 2.64% compared to the same period of the previous campaign. If the calculation is made with the last twelve months, in June there was an increase in sales of 0.26% with 356,000 tons, compared to 355,000 tons between July 2019 and June 2020.

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