After a precipitous fall, olive oil prices have crept back up in Spain. However, producers are divided on whether this trend will continue.
Olive oil prices in Spain have slightly increased after falling more than 30 percent in the last three months.
Prices for virgin, extra virgin and lampante hit their lowest point last week before rising by an average of about €0.30 (AU$0.46) per kilogram. According to the International Olive Council, Spanish extra virgin olive oil was selling at €2.61 (AU$4.05) per kilogram and refined olive oils were selling at €2.20 (AU$3.42) before the price bump.
Some in the olive oil sector believe that the prices are rising because sales increased in May. The exact numbers will be released later this month. May is generally a good month for olive oil sales in Spain and summer months generally have higher sales as well.
“This situation confirms what we have been stating in this period of time,” Cristóbal Cano told Olive Oil Times. Cano is the secretary general of UPA Jaén, an organization that lobbies for fair prices for agricultural commodities, and believes that there was no reason for the prices to be so low in the first place, which is why he expects them to rebound.
“It was an unreal situation and without any objective data that justified that drop in the price,” he said. “The market was practically dead and domestic sales were low since the buyers had gone to third-party countries for their acquisitions.”
Spanish olive oil distributors have recently been refreshing their stockpiles by purchasing excess oil produced in Italy and Greece. However, both countries are expected to experience decreased production compared with last year, according to forecasts seen by Cano. He said Spanish olive oil producers are set to fill that void.
“Now [those buyers will] have to focus on the province of Jaén,” he said. “[This should] increase both the demand and, we hope consequently, price.”
Cano does not expect Spain to have an exceptionally good harvest this year, but he said this will be a common theme among northern hemisphere producers. Meanwhile, demand for olive oil is expected to keep growing and therefore, the price should as well. More