`Greeks Still World's Top Olive Oil Guzzlers


Greeks Still World's Top Olive Oil Guzzlers

Jun. 6, 2013
Julie Butler

Recent News

Greece still leads the world in per capita olive oil con­sump­tion, with each per­son con­sum­ing nearly 18kg yearly, accord­ing to fig­ures from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion.

In a table of per capita olive oil con­sump­tion in the Euro­pean Union for 2011/12, Greece is at the top with 17.9kg, fol­lowed by Spain with 12.6kg, Italy 10.9kg, Cyprus 7.5kg and Por­tu­gal 7.4kg.

And the just over half a mil­lion peo­ple who live in Lux­em­bourg, one of the world’s finan­cial cap­i­tals, lapped up an aver­age of 2.7kg of olive oil each, to slip in next, ahead of the French and Mal­tese, who aver­aged 1.7kg per per­son.

Demand down in Spain


Mean­while, the lat­est fig­ures from the Span­ish Olive Oil Agency (AAO) show that domes­tic con­sump­tion in Spain con­tin­ues to slide and is down 22 per­cent for the first seven months of this sea­son (Oto­ber 2012 to April 2013) com­pared to the same period last sea­son, and 18 per­cent com­pared to the aver­age for the four pre­vi­ous sea­sons. Exports are also 28 per­cent and 19 per­cent lower respec­tively.

Accord­ing to the AAO’s mar­ket report, Spain had olive oil stocks of 757,000 tons at the end of April, after pro­duc­ing 612,900 tons this sea­son — down 62 per­cent on 2011/12 — and import­ing 68,100 tons.

Pro­ducer prices in Spain

Accord­ing to Spain’s POOLred price obser­va­tory, the aver­age ex-mill price for olive oil in Spain for the last week of May is €2.51 a kilo, down from €2.69 for the last week of April, and €2.83 in the last week of March but nearly 85 cents above that of the mid­dle of last year, when prices started to recover there.

Span­ish olive oil pro­ducer Rafael Muela told Olive Oil Times he expected lit­tle move­ment in the spot price for olive oil in the next few months as peo­ple waited to see how the next crop would be.

The flow­ers are increas­ing very fast and based on the appear­ance of some small fruit it looks like next year will be a very good one,” he said.

It that out­look held, prices would prob­a­bly fall towards the end of the year, he said.

We were afraid at the start of the year (when grower prices were about $3/kg), because we felt that even inter­na­tional con­sump­tion would fall.”

We are com­fort­able at the cur­rent price nation­ally as at this level farms are prof­itable,” he said.

We would sell a lit­tle bit more at a lower price but we have to take care of our farm­ers. We don’t need to drop down to the prices of last year or two years ago or we’ll lose farm­ers.”

Main­tain­ing them at the level now we make for a health­ier sec­tor and not only in Spain but these prices will also be good for farm­ers in Cal­i­for­nia and other places.”

Muela, co-owner and senior mar­ket­ing vice-pres­i­dent of Cór­doba-based Muelo­liva, said he did not think sales would pick up in the national mar­ket if the cur­rent price level held but at least they would be main­tained or per­haps rise a lit­tle inter­na­tion­ally.

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