Graph 1 tracks the weekly movements in the prices paid to producers for extra virgin olive oil in the three top EU producing countries plus Tunisia while Graph 3 shows the weekly changes in the producer prices for refined olive oil in the main three EU producers. The monthly price movements for the same two grades of oil are tracked in Graphs 2 and 4.
It is not for the IOC to judge whether these price levels reflect an adequate balance between production costs along the supply chain and the prices that consumers are prepared to pay in their domestic currency to continue consuming olive oil.
Nevertheless, this is a concern that all the players on the market will no doubt take into account with an eye to the long-term sustainable equilibrium and development of the sector.
It is noteworthy that the preliminary consumption estimates the IOC has received for the first semester of 2015 point to a drop in consumption, thus showing that the recent decreases in producer prices have not yet trickled through to retail prices.
Extra virgin olive oil:
Producer prices in Spain started to rise in November 2014. After topping €4/kg in the second week of August 2015, they continued upwards to reach a period high (€4.23/kg) in the third week of August, at which point they switched direction, dipping to €4.14/kg in the last week of September 2015.
This latest price level is 51 pc higher than a year earlier and 105 pc above the low recorded in the third week of May 2014 (€1.96/kg).
Italy: In the week from 10 to 16 November 2014, producer prices in Italy hit the highest level of both the period under review and the last decade, reaching €6.79/kg. After decreasing slightly in the second last week of December 2014 prices turned back upwards.
After some small dips, they were lying at €5.33/kg at the end of September 2015, i.e. 30 pc higher than a year earlier and 102 pc more than the low recorded in the second week of December 2013 (€2.64/kg). Graph 2 shows how the monthly prices of extra virgin olive oil have behaved in recent crop years.
Greece: Prices have been high in recent months, crossing the three-euro/kg barrier in the third week of January 2015. In the last weeks of August and first two weeks of September they rose to period highs, but then started to move downwards to lie at €3.34/kg at the end of September 2015, +27 pc higher than the same period a season earlier.
Tunisia: After starting to move upwards in the first week of January 2015, producer prices recorded some small fluctuations and then climbed to period highs in the last weeks of August. They then started to drop, reaching €3.98/kg by the end of September 2015, equating with period-on-period growth of +38 pc.
Refined olive oil:
In August 2015 producer prices for refined olive oil hit their highest levels for the period under review. In Spain they then started to drop, reaching €3.50/kg by the end of September 2015, although this level was still 37 pc higher than in the same period of the preceding crop year.
The trend in Italy has been similar in that prices dropped to €3.72/kg at the end of September 2015, although again this was still higher (+39 pc) than the same period the season before. No price data are available for this product category in Greece.
At the end of September 2015, the price of refined olive oil (€3.50/kg) and extra virgin olive oil (€4.01/kg ) differed by €0.51/kg in Spain whereas in Italy the difference in price between the two categories was considerably wider (€1.61/kg – Graph 3).Movements in the prices paid to producers for EVOO in the three top EU countries &Tunisia,
EC investing €5 million to respond to the critical outbreak of the damaging olive-tree pest