Ex-mill olive oil prices in Spain are at their lowest point for the calendar year as dry skies in the south favor a rapid harvest and high volumes of olive deliveries.
This time last year the POOLred price observatory showed an average price of €2.56/kg, after a consistent climb since the middle of the year and amid a dismal harvest. But particularly since April, prices have dwindled and the average ex-mill price for the week to December 22 was €1.92/kg, according to POOLred.
Prices tipped to rise again
However, Spanish agricultural union Asaja expects the price to recover somewhat “as it’s realized actual production will be far from the optimistic government forecasts.”
Asaja Seville spokesman José Vázquez said drought and early frosts had lowered the olive yield in Andalusia, which could expect to deliver just 1.13 million tons this season, well under the Andalusian regional government estimate, released in late October, of about 1.3 million tons for the region and 1.6 million tons for Spain overall.
Asaja estimates Spain will produce 1.41 million tons of olive oil this season, which combined with stocks would roughly equal demand, it says.
Vázquez said the expected price rise would bite once there was a drop-off in the current “massive deliveries taking place in recent weeks as the total absence of rain expedites the harvest.”
Olive oil sales up 8 percent on 4‑year average
Meanwhile, the Spanish Olive Oil Agency (AAO) — about to become part of Spain’s new Food Chain Information Agency — recently released what could be one of its last monthly market reports under that name. Highlights from the report, covering October and November, the first two months of the 2013/14 olive oil season in Spain, are:
- Production: 170,400 tons at the end of November, up 81 percent on the same two months last year, when output had plummeted due to unfavorable weather.
- Yield: 16.92 percent, based on processing more than a million tons of olives. Two percentage points higher than at the same time last year and also just above that for the first two months of the 2011/12, bumper season.
- Sales: about 232,400 tons — 8 percent above the average for the same period over the last four seasons. Exports accounted for just over 60 percent, based on provisional figures.
- Imports: provisionally put at 13,000 tons. This is about 200 tons more than at the same time last year and more than double the average of 5,300 for the previous three seasons.
- Stocks: 251,600 tons at end November, down 36 percent on the average for the last four seasons.
Spain’s table olive market
The AAO report also shows that Spain produced 544,420 tons of table olives since the start of that season on September 1, up 12 percent on 2012/13. By the end of November, table olive sales totaled 117,830 tons, down 10 percent on last season.
Spanish Olive Oil Agency (AAO) market report for October-November 2013
Spanish Olive Oil Agency (AAO) website
ASAJA Sevilla 191213 “La cosecha de aceite de oliva será media-alta y estará equilibrada con los consumos actuales”