Based on the latest provisional data from the Food Information and Control Agency (AICA), we wanted to gather the opinion of several professionals, who have analyzed the evolution during this campaign of a unique market situation.
The provisional data published by the AICA, facilitated by the Asociación Agraria de Jóvenes Agricultores (Asaja) of Jaén, detail that Spain has produced in the first five months of the campaign 1,230,000 tons, whereas in the specific case of Andalusia the accumulated figure is of 1,006,000 tons. The data regarding market outlets is high, with 136,500 tons in February, the second best monthly output so far this year and the second best outlet in the last five seasons.
Meanwhile, total stocks at the end of February amounted up to 987,300 tons, which means 25,000 tons more than the previous month and 99,100 tons less than the previous season.
The CEO of Luque Ecológico, Juan Manuel Luque, believes that this year can go down in history as showing the largest figure for Spanish sales of olive oil, since to the high prices we can add a crop that, although being lower than what some operators expectated, it is among the best ten in History.
For Juan Manuel Luque, “we can agree that prices are too high, that we are going to lose market share, that bottlers lose money… but the reality, which is very stubborn, shows us that every month there are more kilos of oil and the price is higher and higher.” According to him, “we have the perfect storm heading the olive oil sector and only Spanish producers have the capacity to rise or lower the oil prices worldwide. At this moment it is our responsibility to maintain high but stable price levels. The only thing we know for sure is that the sooner the prices increase, the sooner they will decrease in the same campaign,” he said, while pointing out that “we could choose to continue supplying the market on a continuous basis or to keep the oil and wait for the ridge of the wave hoping that the wave does not fall on us.”
In his opinion, “large groups -which are the ones with the large quantities of oil- are going to have the responsibility of continuing to supply the market and not let the price soar to levels that we could regret.”