Olive oil prices at origin in Italy have been stable or slightly fallen in recent days, but prices for consumers are still rising and making other popular foods more expensive.
According to data published by the Italian Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market (Ismea), the average price of olive oil at origin was 46.3 percent more in March 2023 than at the same time in 2022.
I would say that all foods now cost way more than one year ago. Even in local artisan shops, small pizzas’ prices have gone up at least 20 percent, some even more.
The inflation dynamics that impacted Italy and many other markets in 2022 are among the reasons for the price increase, along with the effects of the severe reduction in Spanish olive oil production.
Inflation is also among the contributors to a new record in the overall value of Italian agri-food exports. In a note, Ismea reported that in 2022 agri-food exports reached almost €61 billion, a record-high and 14.8 percent more than in 2021.See Also:Extra Virgin Olive Oil Makes Good Pizza Even Better, Researchers Find
Inflation has also boosted import values, with a corresponding impact on the country’s trade balance, which fell by €1.6 billion.
The latest data released by the Ministry of Agriculture show that olive oil exports in March 2023 are also rising after several slow months, a trend mainly attributed to the reduced availability of stored olive oil in relevant markets such as Greece.
Along with olive oil, rising prices for other food, including tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, impact Italian consumers.
Pizza, among the most popular foods in the country, costs significantly more than it did one year ago. According to Bloomberg’s Pizza Margherita index, cooking a pizza at home in Italy is at least 20 percent more expensive than one year ago.
The National Institute of Statistics (Istat) estimates that agri-food inflation was 12.6 percent in 2022, compared to general inflation of 8.1 percent.
Casual consumers, who often choose pizza as a quick snack during working hours, confirmed the rising prices to Olive Oil Times.
“I would say that all foods now cost way more than one year ago,” said Graziano Giovane, head of a worker cooperative in Tuscany. “Even in local artisan shops, small pizzas’ prices have gone up at least 20 percent, some even more. Slices used to be priced €1 but are now at €1.20 or €1.30.”
“I can see that happening both in pizzerias, where the prices have gone up at least 20 percent, but I can also see that when buying frozen pizza in the supermarket,” added Lorenzo Carnevale, an engineer in Umbria.
While inflation in the country is estimated at 7.6 percent in March 2023, Ismea said rising olive oil prices at origin seem to be leveling off.
Between February and March, virgin olive oil prices at origin grew moderately by 2.5 percent, with extra virgin olive oil prices dropping 0.6 percent. Consumers now hope that the new trend in prices at origin will slow the growth in the sale price of associated foods.