The olive oil market this season is plagued by low production levels in the three main oil producing countries – Spain, Italy and Greece – resulting in surging prices, forecasts of even shortages and a commensurate drop in consumption.

According to Eurostat statistics, the price of olive oil in Greece rose by 58.5 % from Jan to Dec 2023, while the corresponding increase in Europe was lower, at 54%.

While prices continue to soar, the harvesting period is now over and it is clear that Greece’s production will be lower than expected.

According to Mintec Analytics, Greece was expected to produce an estimated 160,000 tons of olive oil in the 2023/24 harvest, compared to the 340,000 tons produced last year. However, recent revisions have slashed forecasts, and it is now predicted that the country will produce around 120,000 tons of olive oil this season.

Spain, the largest olive oil producer globally, is expected to produce around 700,000 tons of olive oil.

Italy’s production will also be low compared to other years, reaching just 250,000 tons.

According to the Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities (ACOM), the wholesale prices of olive oil in Greece on Jan. 16 ranged from 8.60 to 9.20 euros per kilo on Crete. This compares with prices ranging from 9.00 to 9.35 per kilo in the Peloponnese region.

In Spain, the price of extra virgin olive oil ranged from 8.81 to 9.75 euros per kilo, while in Tunisia prices were in the region of 7.88 euros per kg.