Given the rough ride that has been Spain’s olive oil industry in recent years, the sector’s dismal July-August figures for olive oil trades should come as no shock.

Between July 12 and August 12, sales transactions between producers and traders fell to 24,484 tons, representing a 53 percent drop from the previous month.

Prices continued to drop as well. According to EFEAGRO, extra virgin olive oil prices fell by 2.27 percent (1.9 /kg), while the price of oils labeled “virgin” and “lampante” dropped 1.53 percent (1.74/kg) and 0.73 percent (1.63/kg) respectively.

When compared to the same period in 2010, depreciation was even greater, with lampante oils down 3.66 percent and extra virgin oils down 4.65 percent.

Futures purchased through the Mercado de Futuros del Aceite de Oliva (MFAO), Spain’s official olive oil stock market, were also lower than expected.

Just 200 MFAO contracts were signed this August 4-10 with prices between 1,630 and 1,760 per ton. Contracts were distributed among five of the seven maturities open to negotiation: 25 contracts for November 2011, 50 for January 2012, 50 for March 2012, 50 for May 2012 and 25 for September 2012.

Investors and producers have serious doubts about the upcoming campaign for 2011-2012, which begins in October. On the upside, foreign exports have shown some promise. Between October 2010 and April 2011, exports grew considerably in countries like Brazil (21 percent), Canada (12 percent), United States (6 percent) and Australia (+1 percent), though Japan saw a drop in exports (-10 percent).

More articles on: , ,