Spanish olive oil consumers are likely to turn to other markets like Morocco for the product in 2023, as prices remain high due to rising production costs and drought.
The price of olive oil has skyrocketed in recent months, standing at more than five euros per liter for extra virgin olive oil and around five euros for virgin and lampante olive oil. . Despite this price increase, Spanish consumers continue to buy olive oil because they have no other alternative, sunflower oil having also become more expensive after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, let EFE know.
Production forecasts for this 2022-2023 campaign are around 780,000 tons, half of the previous campaign, which will lead to low availability of the product and “a compression of demand”, explains Rafael Sánchez de Puerta, president of the agri-food cooperatives. To adjust supply and demand, prices must necessarily be reviewed, he believes, specifying that the rise in prices will not benefit many farmers who “will not have a harvest or a very small harvest”.
Sánchez de Puerta also expects a sharp drop in exports due to this price increase, despite efforts to expand the market. “If last year about 138,000 tons were put on the market on average, this year we will barely be able to maintain about 100,000 tons”, he explains, with the hope that the last autumn rains will improve water supplies to reduce drought damage to olive growers.
“With these last rains, we are eliminating the risk that weighed on the 2023 harvest, but everything depends on the volume of the harvest, the prices at origin and how the market evolves”, explains for his part, Primitivo Fernández, the director of the National Association of Industrial Conditioners and Refiners of Edible Oils (ANIERAC), which is however concerned about the evolution of the prices of energy, raw materials and fuels, which affect the olive sector.