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: In the three months since the beginning of June 2014, producer prices in Spain have risen constantly, perhaps in reaction to the forecasts of a smaller harvest in 2014/15. By the last week in August they had reached €2.66/kg. This level is 4 pc higher than a year earlier and 36 pc higher than the low recorded in May 2014 (€1.96/kg). During the period under review, prices reached their highest at the beginning of March 2013 (see Graph 1) when they hit €3.02/kg.
Italy: In recent months, producer prices in Italy have been on a clear upward trend. By the last week of August they had broken the four-euro barrier and were lying at €4.03/kg, equating with 30 pc growth on a year earlier and 53 pc growth if compared with the low recorded in the second week of December 2013 (€2.64/kg).
Greece: After holding steady at around €2.51/kg through July and most of August, producer prices in Greece increased to €2.61/kg in the last week of August, reaching the high of April 2014 and recording 6 pc growth on the same period of 2012/13.
Tunisia: At the end of October 2013, producers were paid €2.53/kg for their extra virgin olive oil. After that, prices started moving downwards until late December 2013, when they levelled off after some fluctuations. Towards the end of August they rallied to €2.89/kg, which is 10 pc higher than a year earlier.Oilive oil producer prices,