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.
Sep. 21, 2020
Paolo DeAndreis

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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).

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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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