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.