`Olive Oil Prices Fall Despite a Supply Seen as Modest - Olive Oil Times

Olive Oil Prices Fall Despite a Supply Seen as Modest

Nov. 21, 2015
Erin Ridley

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The last months of 2015 are tak­ing a toll on Spain’s olive oil prices.

The farm gate price of vir­gin olive oil has dropped 22 per­cent, from a high near €4 per kilo, to €3.00. Extra vir­gin prices have gone done 6.25 per­cent over just the last week alone.

There doesn’t appear to be any con­crete expla­na­tion for this either.

Last year saw a low-pro­duc­ing har­vest, the sup­ply is aver­age, and the year to come doesn’t look ter­ri­bly promis­ing — all fac­tors which would lend to a scarcity of stock now and for some time. Logically, this should cause prices to go up, but instead they con­tinue to fall, and quite notably.

There is some spec­u­la­tion around what could be con­tribut­ing to the spi­ral. For one, buy­ers and large dis­tri­b­u­tion chan­nels are antic­i­pat­ing fur­ther price drops and hold­ing off on pur­chases.


For exam­ple, buy­ers pur­chased 3,816 tons dur­ing the week of November 6 – 12. A week later trans­ac­tions went down to 2,875 tons, a reduc­tion of 24.7 per­cent. The result seems to be a ten­sion in pric­ing and, as a con­se­quence, a fur­ther drop.

Adding to the com­plex­ity is the fact that Spanish con­sumers have been buy­ing less olive oil (likely com­pounded by pre­vi­ously high prices), and are pur­chas­ing more of the seed oils instead. Other fac­tors include the antic­i­pa­tion of olive oil from the recent har­vest, as well as a greater sup­ply from Tunisia.

These price drops aren’t just hap­pen­ing in Spain, either, with both Italy and Greece see­ing reduc­tions in last weeks as well.

The Spanish mar­ket remains per­plexed; the only clear take-away is that the seller needs to sell more than the buyer needs to buy.

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