The economic area of the Central Government yesterday raised its concern about the escalation of prices that olive oil is suffering with regard to the different varieties and defined it as "what worries families the most at the moment ", said the acting first vice-president, Nadia Calviño. The number two of the Executive asked the companies in the sector, from producers to distribution, to "thread the needle" to "contain prices". "I call on the value chain" to adjust business margins as much as they can, he claimed.
Calviño placed the problem of olive oil prices above, even, the increase in the cost of fuels. In an interview with 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 pocket and food.
The forecast in the governmental economic area on the evolution of final oil prices is not, today, optimistic. However, Calviño pointed to the fact that the rains of the last few days "are going well" to improve the quantity and quality of the next harvests. According to the calculations of the Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA), between 50% and 60% less olives will be collected this year.
The consumer organization Facua yesterday put figures on the 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 reference the final labels of 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 should be remembered that olive oil is one of the foods included in the VAT reduction in force since January 1 and that, therefore, the tax at this time is 5%.
La Facua compared the price of the same product on January 3 and September 4 at the same establishment. The differences are noticeable. Oils in Carrefour rose by 47%; in Alcampo, 45.1%; in Eroski, 41.9%; and in Dia, 40.8%. In Hipercor, on the other hand, they climbed 39.1% and in Mercadona, finally, 38.6%. The study did not analyze the prices of Lidl or Aldi.
The oil giant Deoleo, owner of brands such as Bertolli and 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 its price Despite the fact that there is no supply problem, the market is using "the price variable to adapt supply to demand", he adds.
His forecasts are not very optimistic either: "In the short and medium term, we predict that the environment will still be very challenging for the sector" of olive oil. In 2024, the company points out, "the situation remains similar to this year". Oil prices, in short, will stabilize, but they will not return to what they were before, they conclude.