Europe

No Consensus on This Year’s Production in Greece

May. 29, 2019
By Petros Gogos - Agronews

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Estimates of this year’s olive oil pro­duc­tion by key stake­hold­ers offer con­trast­ing pic­tures of the quan­ti­ties of extra virgin olive oil that may be avail­able on the Greek market for this season.

While fore­casts by a number of sources fall in the range of 170,000 to 200,000 tons, the chair­man of the Hellenic Federation of Olive Oil Standardization Industries (SEVITEL), Grigoris Antoniadis speak­ing to the Athens News Agency claimed that this year’s pro­duc­tion will be around 140,000 tons.

These state­ments which came as a sur­prise to other market play­ers have opened room for spec­u­la­tion as some feel it may lead pro­duc­ers to hold back and stock olive oil with hopes of fetch­ing better prices in the future.

As far as the price level is con­cerned, Antoniades explained that the main reason for this year’s ceil­ing at around €3 ($3.34) per kilo of extra virgin olive oil is the over­sup­ply of Spanish olive oil which puts pres­sure on the price of Greek olive oil.

Experts respond­ing to Agronews’ inquiry pointed out that the volume quoted by Antoniades may not nec­es­sar­ily be out of range but at the same time, it may not include quan­ti­ties traded under the table. The same source claimed that the amount of olive oil sold in the grey market which were not accom­pa­nied by invoices last year came to about 40,000 tons.

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The steep increase in farmer’s taxes since 2016 was cited as the major driver behind the boost in black market trade in olive oil.

Perhaps a more com­plete pic­ture of this year’s pro­duc­tion could emerge from the olive pomace oil indus­try, as it col­lects and processes the residues of the first extrac­tion.

“The quan­tity of pomace olive oil pro­duced is roughly 10 per­cent of the total olive oil in each season,” said Manolis Giannoulis, chair­man and CEO of ELSAP SA and pres­i­dent of the Interprofessional Association of Olive oil (EDOE). “Based on the quan­ti­ties of the olive pomace oil pro­duced so far, I would place this year’s pro­duc­tion stands to be around 180,000 to 200,000 tons,” he said.

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Olive Oil Times and the Greek pub­li­ca­tion Agronews are work­ing together to bring you agri­cul­tural news from Greece.