Despite a 15% increase in the 2023/24 campaign, low availability and high demand will maintain price tensions
MADRID, 12 Oct. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Interprofessional of Olive Oil has warned that price tensions will continue with the new campaign that begins in October because demand in the market will continue to be high while product availability will continue to be low despite the estimate of moderate increases in production.
This was stated by the organization's manager, Teresa Pérez, in an interview with Europa Press, in which she recommends that consumers buy only what is needed.
"Right now, in this type of scenario, the best thing is to buy what you need. Stockpiling would not help either because it would be like a flight forward, it would cause a greater rise in prices because it would put greater tension in the markets," he explains.
Likewise, he indicates that the best thing for the moment is to wait until "as soon as production of this new campaign begins, the volume of availability slightly reduces this tension in prices."
Pérez explained that, despite the estimated increase in olive oil production in the 2023-2024 campaign of 15% compared to the previous one, said campaign starts with a lower initial link availability, that is, " "The increase in production will practically be offset by the decrease in initial stock." "Therefore, product availabilities will remain similar to those of the past," he noted.
"We have a demand that has remained strong throughout the year with scarce production at a global level. In the previous campaign, according to data from the European Commission, we had a demand of 3.6 million tons, and Only 2.5 million have been produced, which is why there is a very strong imbalance between supply and demand," he detailed.
In this sense, data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food also shows that in regions such as Andalusia, where 70% of Spanish olive oil production takes place, the harvest is estimated to be 40% below the average, especially due to the low production expected in the provinces of Jaén - the first producing province in Spain -, Córdoba and Granada.
In this context, the manager of the Olive Oil Interprofessional indicates that, when considering the product availability that is estimated to be available in this campaign, it is to be expected that, "for now", there will be a season with these levels of High prices.
The price of a liter of extra virgin olive oil has risen by an average of 3.66 euros in supermarkets so far this year with increases ranging between 1.25 and 6.30 euros per liter, but shooting up to 7 .36 euros per liter in the case of virgin olive oil, according to the data derived from the comparative study prepared by Facua-Consumidores en Acción, published this Monday and in which oils for sale in six large chain stores have been analyzed. distribution.
Furthermore, in just one month the price of virgin olive oil has skyrocketed by up to 75% in the same distribution chain, according to another study that Facua published last week. This report revealed that there is up to a 56% difference in price depending on the supermarket.
Pérez explains that the reasons why these price variations exist between distributor chains depends on different factors.
"To begin with, we would have to see when these oils were marketed; a marketing chain may have bought or closed the price of the oil a few weeks or months ago, and that may already mean a difference in price between them," he points out.
Furthermore, he adds that it is very difficult to make a price comparison, since the marketing strategy of each distribution group comes in the middle.
"There are many factors, many variables that act, not only the price of the product, we would have to see exactly when that chain bought the batch of oil, when it closed the purchase contract with the brand, because we are talking about that in this Last campaign, prices have been fluctuating week by week, therefore there may already be differences," he explains.
Pérez indicates that it must be taken into account that the difference between products in different distribution chains affects any product, food or not. "It affects yogurts, it affects deodorants, you go to one distribution chain and another, and the same product does not have the same price in all chains," he points out.
Regarding the impact of the absence of rain on the olive grove harvest, Pérez emphasizes that, although it is not easy to predict what the final consequences will be, they will have an effect.
"We have experienced an event that had never occurred before: the chaining of two successive drought campaigns of high temperatures and, therefore, low production. The olive tree is a quite intelligent tree and when it does not have water it logically accumulates reserves to be able to survive. We also have to take into account that, in Spain, irrigation accounts for only 25% of the cultivated area and that, in drought situations, there are even irrigation restrictions, so we are practically dealing with a crop that is under stress. very strong water flow," says Pérez.
Regarding future campaigns, therefore, he estimates that everything will depend on the general rainfall situation. "We could find a generous olive tree that, after two years of drought, has reserves and offers good production or we could find that the drought persists and, if so, we would once again find ourselves with a scenario of declining production," he points out.
"We cannot know. The truth is that there is talk of a change in cycle, there is talk of the return of the rains, but we have to see it because until now high temperatures are the general trend that we are experiencing in this period," he says. .