The average price for virgin olive oil is now so low in Spain that the European Commission has no choice but to subsidize storage until the market improves, the Spanish government and olive oil producers said today.
The price fell to 169.91 €/kg for the week ending September 11. Given the E.C.’s threshold price for virgin olive oil is 1.71 €/kg, Spain says private storage aid is now a must.
According to Europa Press, Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs Minister Rosa Aguilar said European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Cioloş would be sent the relevant evidence and he should then “act accordingly” and enable the aid.
Suffering a prolonged pricing crisis, Spain has repeatedly called for the measure but Cioloş has in the past stressed that the criteria had not been met. Prices were low, but not low enough, and there was no proof of a market disturbance, he said earlier this year.
Rafael Sánchez de Puerta, director general of the Andalusian Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Enterprises (FAECA), said today that private storage aid was the only measure that could help Spain’s olive oil sector recover.
Rafael Civantos, a spokesman for COAG, one of Spain’s largest agrarian unions, said Brussels now had “no excuses.”
And in a press release, Asaja-Jaén, an association of young agriculturists, said private storage aid was “urgently needed.”
Asaja emphasized that the the storage aid trigger prices were set more than a decade ago and needed revision. It also said that official records of olive oil prices were often higher than the actual prices paid to producers.
According to the figures for September 5-11 released by Aguilar’s department, only the price for virgin olive oil was low enough to trigger aid. But Asaja said that in reality prices for lampante oil had also been below the threshold.
VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Threshold 1.71 €/kg; current price 169.91 €/kg (down 0.64% on previous week)
Threshold 1.77 €/kg; current prices: Córdoba 190.15 €/kg, Granada 185.00 €/kg, Jaén 190.82 €/kg, Málaga 193.00 €/kg, Seville 206.13 €/kg
Threshold 1.52 €/kg , current price 161.94 €/kg (down 0.33% on previous week)
Source: Europa Press/MARM for September 5-11, 2011