Some Signs Suggest Better Outlook for Greek Farmers

Lower yield predictions in Spain and Italy open new hopes for Greek olive growers as harvesting begins.
By Paolo DeAndreis
Sep. 21, 2020 10:27 UTC

The lat­est data show signs of a pos­si­ble recov­ery for olive oil price at ori­gin in Greece. Local experts point to the advan­tages for Greek grow­ers that might arise from lower yields expected both in Spain and Italy.

The early har­vest is now start­ing in Laconia, where olive grow­ers col­lect the Athinoleia — one of the ancient and rare Greek olive vari­eties.

According to Panagiotis Batsakis, head of a Cretan agri­cul­tural coop­er­a­tive, the first new olive oil should reach the mar­ket within the end of the month with prices expected to be on the rise.

Experts, wrote the local news­pa­per Agrotypos, believe that the bad weather in Italy in recent weeks, and specif­i­cally in highly pro­duc­tive regions such as Tuscany, Puglia, and Sicily, should help Greek olive oil to fare bet­ter on the inter­na­tional mar­ket with an expected rise in exports to Spain and Italy.

Experts believe that a turn­ing point to under­stand where the mar­ket is head­ing will be the quo­ta­tions for the first Athinoleia olive oils, which are expected to climb well above €3 per Kilogram ($3.56).

Should they break the €4 bar­rier, Neakriti sug­gested, the fol­low­ing extra vir­gin olive oils could eas­ily fare above €3. In this sce­nario, the sale price of the remain­ing stock of last year’s out­put, mainly to Italy and Spain, could reach €2.70 per Kilogram.

Still, all oper­a­tors are very cau­tious in their esti­mates due to the per­sis­tent threat of the olive fruit fly.

While the gen­er­ally dry weather con­di­tions did not con­tribute to the spread­ing of the fly so far, accord­ing to the local site Agronews, farm­ers are now find­ing plenty of flies in con­trol traps in their groves, which means that the infec­tion could read­ily hit should the weather change.

A suc­cess­ful har­vest also hinges on the avail­abil­ity of for­eign work­ers amid the Covid-19 pan­demic, hit­ting regions through­out the Mediterranean.


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