Two of the world’s largest olive oil producers are seeing their sales grow. In recent weeks, both Spain and Tunisia reported a higher value from sales, with Spain also recording higher traded volumes.
Spain’s Food Information and Control Agency (AICA) reported 140,778 tons of monthly sales for February, exceeding the previous months of the crop year. Spanish producers have sold 707,391 tons during the current 2021/22 crop year.
AICA figures also show that national olive oil production in February reached 105,478 tons, bringing total production close to 1.5 million tons for the current season.See Also:Trade News
Still, logistical difficulties created by the recent truck drivers’ strike led the president of the agri-food cooperatives in Jaén, Higinio Castellano, to emphasize that producers are experiencing significant losses.
“[Olive oil stored in bulk] remains in the tanks by force, which prevents cooperative members from fulfilling the contracts signed with companies of any kind in the retail sector,” Castellano said. “Nor has packaged oil sold over the internet reached the private consumer.”
As a result, growers associations in the country’s major producing districts confirmed a slight price increase. For example, the Jaén-based chapter of the Association of Young Farmers and Ranchers (Asaja) said that, from March 14 to March 20, extra virgin olive oil was priced at €3,674 per ton.
Extra virgin olive oil prices also provide some relief to Tunisian producers, hit by lower-than-expected olive yields in the current season.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries figures, which were reported by Agence Ecofin, Tunisian olive oil sales hit 620 million Tunisian dinars (€190 million) in the first three months of the crop year. This represents a 32-percent increase compared with the same period in the previous crop year. The ministry added that 18 percent of those sales are due to exports.
According to Onagri, the National Observatory on Agriculture, the reasons for these encouraging numbers are due to the 40-percent spike in average olive oil export price.See Also:Olive Oil and Table Olive Imports Slip
In January 2022, prices reached €3.20 per kilogram compared to €3.40 per kilogram reported in Spain. That growth balanced out the reduction in Tunisian export volumes, which fell to 59,400 thousand tons compared with the 62,000 tons of the previous year.
The Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries also reported that organic olive growing and organic farming are becoming more relevant in the North African country.
The ministry said Tunisia is the African country with the largest farming area devoted to organic farming, and it is the first regarding organic olive growing.
Some experts believe that the next months for the olive oil market will follow unexpected routes.
In Spain, some believe that it will mostly be due to the turmoil generated by the Russo-Ukrainian War on the edible oils market.
According to local media reports in Spain, some virgin olive oil in the country is being refined to obtain lampante oil, one of the lowest quality olive oil grades, due to rising demand due to the shortage of sunflower oil.
Sources in the sector told Agroinformación that this option “is on the table and some brands are already doing it.”