Olive oil prices in Spain finally fell in line with expectations and rose last week, though there was not much oil being sold.
With the current harvest tipped to be world production leader Andalusia’s worst in 13 years, the dip in ex-mill prices a week ago was perplexing but they’ve since climbed nearly 8 percent, according to the POOLred price observatory, which shows the average price at December 21 is €2.56/kg, but sales volumes are very low.
Olive Oil Agency (AAO) figures now in for the first two months of this season, October and November, show production totaled 88,200 tons, which is half of that at the same time a year ago but similar to 2010/11.
About 588, 500 tons of olives have been processed, with a yield of 14.98 percent, down from 16.67 percent last season.
Provisional figures show imports so far total 13,500 tons, more than double that of the same time last year. Exports for October and November total 135,000 tons and domestic demand is down 5 percent on last year to 75,600 tons.
Spain’s olive oil stocks are up 77 percent on the average for the last four seasons, standing at 583,100 tons at the end of November. The vast majority is in mills in Andalusia but bottlers also hold stocks of 160,100 tons.
Andalusia: worst harvest in 13 years
Spanish agricultural union Asaja says it now expects Andalusia’s harvest this season to total just 560,000 tons, down nearly 60 percent on last year’s record of 1.36 million for the region and its worst since 1999.
Asaja Seville spokesman José Vázquez said earlier this week that prices had not yet risen as much as expected due to factors including lack of liquidity, and the financing needs of cooperatives and countries like Greece, “which are selling in haste”.