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Sharp Rise in Olive Oil Prices Expected in Britain

Olive oil prices in Britain is expected to rise drastically as the world?s biggest olive oil producers are experiencing a severe decrease in their harvests.

Nov. 21, 2016
By Reda Atoui

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Olive oil prices in Britain are expected to rise dras­ti­cally as harsh crop fail­ures have affected the world’s biggest olive oil pro­duc­ers.

In fact, almost all of the major olive oil pro­duc­ing coun­tries (which are all located in the Europe) are cur­rently expe­ri­enc­ing a severe decrease in this year’s har­vest. The causes are dif­fer­ent but the out­come remains the same as those coun­tries are falling short on meet­ing demand.
See more: Com­plete Cov­er­age of the 2016 Olive Har­vest
In France, drought dur­ing the sum­mer months has affected the har­vest severely; the 2016 crop is expected to be around thirty per­cent lower than last year’s and olive grow­ers are fac­ing tough finan­cial per­spec­tives. In Greece, olive oil pro­duc­tion is fore­casted to drop to around 220,000 tons com­pared with 300,000 tons in 2015.

The sit­u­a­tion is not much more shin­ing in Italy, where pro­duc­ers expect to see out­put fall to 230,000 tons pro­duced com­pared with last year’s 350,000 tons, mostly due to the olive fly — the same par­a­site that caused much trou­ble to French olive grow­ers in 2014.

Wal­ter Zanre, man­ag­ing direc­tor of olive oil brand Fil­ippo Berio, com­mented on Italy’s cur­rent olive oil pro­duc­tion sit­u­a­tion with the trade mag­a­zine The Gro­cer: In our region, Tus­cany, fore­casts are for less than 50 per­cent of a nor­mal crop. Dur­ing the last four weeks, we have seen Ital­ian extra-vir­gin olive oil prices appre­ci­ate by over 10 per­cent and it is still increas­ing. We fully expect to see a repeat of the 2014 – 2015 sit­u­a­tion,” he added.

The Fil­ippo Berio direc­tor indi­cated that even though olive oil pro­duc­tion in Spain, the world’s largest sup­plier, is actu­ally expected to rise this year, the esti­mated global pro­duc­tion of 2,750,000 tons will not be able to meet the expected demand which sits at 2,920,000 tons of olive oil.

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In Britain, retail­ers will likely have no choice but to reduce shelf space for Ital­ian extra-vir­gin olive oil. That is a con­cern­ing sit­u­a­tion for a coun­try where peo­ple are con­sum­ing more and more olive oil with each pass­ing year, notably due to the fact that many con­sumers con­sider the Mediter­ranean diet to be a healthy alter­na­tive to more indige­nous types of ali­men­ta­tion.

Olive oil con­sump­tion in Britain has risen from 6,200 tons in 1990 to around 62,000 tons, an encour­ag­ing fig­ure for the olive oil indus­try that has made Britain the world’s tenth biggest olive oil-con­sum­ing coun­try.



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