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 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 but they are a concern that all the players will no doubt take into account for the long-term sustainable equilibrium and development of the sector
Extra virgin olive oil: Producer prices in Spain started to rise constantly in the second half of 2014. After breaking the three-euro barrier in the second week of December 2014, they continued on their upward trajectory with some minor fluctuations until they reached €3.41/kg in the last week of April 2015, the highest level yet during the period plotted in Graph 1. This is 69 pc higher than a year earlier and 74 pc above the low recorded in the third week of May 2014 (€1.96/kg).
Italy: In recent months, producer prices in Italy have been on a very clear upward trend. In the week from 10 to 16 November 2014, they 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 switched back upwards. After some small dips, they remained stable for three weeks and were lying at €5.94/kg at the end of April 2015, i.e. 72 pc higher than a year earlier and 125 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 recently been high, breaking the three-euro/kg barrier in the third week of January 2015; after remaining stable for some weeks, they were lying at around €2.99/kg in the last week of April 2015, +17 pc higher than the same period a season earlier.
Tunisia: Towards the end of December 2014, producers were paid €2.73/kg for their extra virgin olive oil. Prices held steady for a while but then started to move upwards in the first week of January 2015. After some small dips in recent weeks, they again peaked at the highest level of the period under review, reaching €3.23/kg at the end of April 2015, equating with period-on-period growth of +34 pc. For the time being, the outcome of the law of supply and demand is very clear. It will be interesting to see how the expectations for the next crop year will slowly start to make themselves felt as flowering begins this month.
Refined olive oil: After keeping to the same trend, producer prices for refined olive oil in Spain and Italy appeared to be drifting apart in recent weeks but have now shifted back into position with each other and reached the highest levels yet in the period analyzed. In Spain they were standing at €2.93/kg at the end of April 2015, up by 67 pc on the same period of the preceding crop year.
In Italy prices stood at €3.01/kg at the end of April 2015, translating into a period-on-period increase of 55 pc which restores Italian prices to their usual position above Spanish prices.
No price data are available for this product category in Greece. At the end of April 2015, the price of refined olive oil (€2.93/kg) and extra virgin olive oil (€3.41/kg ) differed by €0.48/kg in Spain. In Italy, the difference in price between the two categories is considerably wider (€2.93/kg – Graph 3).Extra Virgin & Refined Olive Oil PRODUCER PRICES,