Warning over olive oil stocks

27 May 2015 by
Warning over olive oil stocks

The International Olive Council (IOC) has warned that olive oil stocks are likely to dip, with a resulting increase in prices.

Back in January 2015 consumers were being warned of a potential olive oil crisis following 12 terrible months of olive harvests in several countries and 2014 being labelled a ‘black year' for the industry.

Back then the IOC said that production would hit its lowest level in 15 years and suggested there would be an upswing in prices.

In its April 2015 Market Newsletter, the IOC said: "Owing to the hefty drop in Spain and Italy's output, imports from outside the EU will probably be considerably higher than last year, particularly imports from Tunisia where the harvest is much higher than last year (which can be seen in the 27.6% increase recorded in December 2014 even before change in EU regulation on the tariff quota at zero-rate duty).

Producer prices have increased, according to the report, particularly in Italy, with prices at €5.94 per kg, 72% higher than a year earlier and 125% more than the low recorded in the second week of December 2013. Producer prices are currently €3.45/kg in Spain and €3.23/kg in Tunisia.

Trade magazine The Grocer issued a special report earlier this year referring to the challenging harvests but also referenced the price wars that have now taken hold in the UK's big four supermarkets - Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons.

Walter Zanre, UK managing director of olive oil producer Filippo Berio, told The Grocer: "If there were to be another bad harvest next year I think we would have the prospect of rationing people in terms of supply."

A statement from Juliette Cayol at the IOC press office today stated: "There will admittedly be less olive oil around than usual and stocks will run very low but it is unlikely that there will be a shortage.

"Starting stocks at the beginning of the next 2015/16 season will certainly be minimal but it is also true that the harvest in 2015/16 is expected to be higher than this year's."

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