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. Monthly price movements for the same two grades of oil are given in Graphs 2 and 4.
Extra virgin olive oil: After peaking at €4.23/kg in the third week of August 2015, producer prices in Spain switched direction and began to drop, gathering momentum from the last week of September (Graph 1). In recent weeks, prices have dipped and were lying at €3.24/kg in the last week of February 2016. This is 1 pc higher than a year earlier and 65 pc higher than the low recorded in the third week of May 2014 (€1.96/kg), but 21 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 of both the last decade and the reporting period, reaching €6.79/kg. After some fluctuations, they started to fall sharply, only then to pick up and to steady at around €3.63/kg by the end of February 2016. This level was still 40 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, they dipped only to inch up again. At the close of February2016, they had dropped slightly to 3.01/kg, 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 February 2016, they were lying at €3.48/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 the third week of January 2016. They have fallen again in the last two weeks and stood at €3.00/kg at the end of February 2016, but still showing an increase of 6 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 6 pc higher than the same period the season before. No price data are available for this product category in Greece.
At the end of February 2016, the price of refined olive oil (€3.00/kg) and extra virgin olive oil (€3.24/kg ) differed by €0.24/kg in Spain. In Italy the gap between the two categories was wider (€0.48/kg – Graph 3)