The economic area of the Government yesterday raised its concern about the escalation in prices that olive oil in its different varieties is suffering and defined it as "what worries families the most at this moment," said the acting first vice president, Nadia. Calvino. The number two of the Executive asked companies in the sector, from producers to distribution, to "lend their shoulders" to "contain prices." “I call on the value chain” to adjust its business margins as much as possible, she claimed.
Calviño placed the problem of olive oil prices even above the increase in fuel costs. In an interview in 'La Sexta', the number two of the acting Executive highlighted that "liquid gold is the basis of Spanish cuisine." It is, therefore, a situation that directly impacts the pocketbook and food.
The forecast in the government economic area regarding the evolution of final oil prices is not, today, optimistic. Calviño pointed out, however, that the rains of recent days “are coming in handy” to improve the quantity and quality of future harvests. According to calculations by the Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA), this year between 50% and 60% less olives will be harvested.
The consumer organization Facua yesterday put figures on this increase in the prices of virgin and extra virgin olive oil in the first nine months of the year that had already been certified by the INE. Taking as a reference the final labels in six large supermarkets (Mercadona, Carrefour, Alcampo, Dia, Eroski and Hipercor), consumers paid 10.34 euros per liter on average at the beginning of September, compared to the 6.91 euros they paid in January. It must be remembered that olive oil is one of the foods included in the VAT reduction in force since January 1 and, therefore, the tax is currently 5%.
Facua compared the price of the same product on January 3 and September 4 in the same establishment. The differences are notable. Oils at Carrefour rose 47%; in Alcampo, 45.1%; in Eroski, 41.9%; and in Dia, 40.8%. In Hipercor, for its part, they rose 39.1% and in Mercadona, finally, 38.6%. The study did not analyze Lidl or Aldi prices.
The oil giant Deoleo. owner of brands such as Bertolli or Carbonell, explains, in statements to La Vanguardia, that the sector is facing a problem caused by prolonged drought and extreme heat that affect the availability of raw materials and their price. Although there is no supply problem, the market is using “the price variable to adapt supply to demand,” he adds. His forecasts are not too optimistic either: “In the short and medium term, we predict that the environment will continue to be very challenging for the” olive oil sector. In 2024, the company points out, “the situation will continue to be similar to this year.” Oil prices will ultimately stabilize, but they will not return to what they were before, they conclude.