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.
It is not the place of 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 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 (see comments in section I.1 regarding the December 2014 import figures for several countries).
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 to peak at €3.29/kg in the second week of February 2015. After hovering around this level with intermittent upturns, prices stood at €3.27/kg at the end of March 2015, 64 pc higher than a year earlier and 67 pc above the low recorded in the third week of May 2014 (€1.96/kg) (Graph 1).
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 a small dip in the second last week of December 2014, prices switched back upwards and then leveled off, lying at €6.01/kg at the end of March 2015, equating with an increase of 84 pc on a year earlier and 128 pc compared with 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 changed in recent crop years.
Greece: Lately, prices have been high, breaking the three-euro/kg barrier in the third week of January 2015; however, since then they have inched down to €2.94/kg at the end of March 2015 (+15 pc on the same period a season earlier).
Tunisia: At the end of December 2014, producers were paid €2.73/kg for their extra virgin olive oil. Prices held steady for a few weeks but then started to move upwards and peaked at €3.10/kg by the end of February. However, in recent weeks they have dipped, reaching €3.03/kg at the end of March 2015, equating with period-on-period growth of +24 pc.
Refined olive oil: After moving upwards, producer prices for refined olive oil in Spain and Italy seem to shifting away from the previous highs. In Spain they have dipped slightly to €2.78/kg at the end of March 2015, but still up by 53 pc on the same period of the preceding crop year. In Italy prices stood at €2.91/kg at the end of March 2015, translating into a period-on-period increase of 48 pc which places Italian prices in their usual position above Spanish prices. No price data are available for this product category in Greece.
At the end of March 2015, the price of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil in Spain differed by €0.49/kg, with €2.78/kg being paid for the first category and €3.27/kg for the second. In Italy, the difference in price between the two categories is considerably wider than in Spain (€3.10/kg – Graph 3).
Source: International Olive Council MARKET NEWSLETTER No 92 – March 2015Olive Oil Producers Prices - IOC Report,