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 three main EU producers. The monthly price movements for the same two grades of oil are given in Graphs 2 and 4.
Extra virgin olive oil: Producer prices in Spain started to rise in November 2014. After peaking at €4.23/kg in the third week of August 2015, they switched direction and began to drop, gathering momentum from the last week of September (Graph 1). This downward movement started later in Spain than in Italy. In recent weeks prices started to rally and were lying at €3.30/kg by the last week of January 2016. This is 1 pc higher than a year earlier and 68 pc higher than the low recorded in the third week of May 2014 (€1.96/kg), but 22 pc below the maximum (€4.23/kg).
Italy: In the week from 10 to 16 November 2014, producer prices in Italy hit their highest level since the last decade, reaching €6.79/kg. After some fluctuations, they started to fall sharply, only to pick up to €3.47/kg by the end of January 2016, although this level was still 42 pc lower than a year earlier. Graph 2 shows how the monthly prices of extra virgin olive oil have behaved in recent crop years.
Greece: In the last weeks of August and first week of September 2015, prices rose to period highs (€3.54/kg). After holding steady for a while, they dipped only to level off later at €2.96/kg at the close of January 2016, 2 pc down on the same period a season earlier.
Tunisia: Producer prices peaked in the last weeks of August 2015 (€4.13/kg). Then, like elsewhere, they started to drop, but later switched back upwards. At the end of January 2016, they were lying at €3.28/kg, showing period-on-period growth of +12 pc.
Refined olive oil: After peaking in August 2015, producer prices for refined olive oil followed in the footsteps of extra virgin prices. In Spain where they started to drop ahead of elsewhere, they fell sharply but started to rally in recent weeks to stand at €3.18/kg in late January 2016, showing an increase of 12 pc on the same period of the preceding crop year. The trend in Italy has been similar, with prices lying at €3.15/kg at the end of January 2016. This level was 11 pc higher than the same period the season before. No price data are available for this product category in Greece.
At the end of January 2016, the price of refined olive oil (€3.18/kg) and extra virgin olive oil (€3.30/kg ) differed by €0.12/kg in Spain whereas in Italy the gap between the two categories was wider (€0.29/kg – Graph 3).