Despite challenges looming on the horizon, olive oil sales in Spain remain robust, with growing margins for the whole production chain.
According to the data released by the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, olive oil millers sold 95,400 tons of olive oil in the period, with overall figures for the campaign rising from 1,343,015 million tons in July to 1,438,415 million tons in August.
Without any doubt, we are going through the best marketing campaign ever generated in the olive sector.
The Agency for Information and Food Control (AICA) reported that total olive oil sales for August in the country reached 116,000 tons, a 28-percent increase compared to the same period of the past year.
Cristóbal Cano, secretary-general of the Union of Small Farmers (UPA) Andalusia, told Agroinformación that sales numbers “make us optimistic, as we can hope to end the campaign with at least 1.6 million tons sold.”See Also:Agricultural Incomes Rise in Andalusia, Boosted by Resurgent Olive Oil Sector
Farmers estimate that they will have a record year in terms of sales. “Without any doubt, we are going through the best marketing campaign ever generated in the olive sector as for economic volumes, which is also due to reasonable prices that do not stop rising,” Cano said
“The Ministry of Agriculture projects prices at source being 15 percent higher than those reported one year ago,” he added.
According to the Information System of Olive Markets (SIMO), olive oil stocks exceeded 580,000 tons at the end of August, the vast majority of which were owned by millers and bottlers.
“If September stays on the same path in terms of numbers, with these data, we can expect to end up with 400,000 tons [in storage],” said Luis Carlos Valero, spokesman of the Association of Young Farmers and Ranchers in Jaén. “We will be very attentive to the data of the incoming month.”
Experts noted that rising prices are benefiting the entire production chain, including traditional growers. According to Poolred, prices are skyrocketing. For example, extra virgin olive oil prices rose from €3.82 per liter reported on August 15 to €3.99 on September 15.
Yet, the extreme drought in Spain is expected to bring a near-record-low harvest this season, with some estimates that production will fall below 1 million tons for the first time in nearly a decade.
“The structural drought we are facing makes us fear for the future,” Cano told Extra Jaén. “Should September confirm this tendency of reduced rainfall, we will have a bad season, as many areas of Andalusia are already without olives, and in those areas where irrigation works, the fruit does not follow the desirable development.”