Bulk olive oil prices have continued to firm in the last fortnight. Extra virgin has increased some 5% in the last two weeks. Of even more concern to traders, who fear reduced demand, are prices for olive oil which is now being quoted at the same level as extra virgin, due to the shortage of lampante oils this season.

The new season’s production
has now been completed in Greece and Italy, but is still continuing in Spain. Both Italy and Greece have had relatively poor crops with some Greek bottlers actually buying from Spain. However, the Spanish crop is exceptional and could reach record levels.

Filippo Berio UK country manager Walter Zanré said: “In 2003, price competition resulted in value being driven out of olive oil and an overall reduction in retailer margins.

“It will be interesting to see if this trend continues or if retailers reflect increased olive oil costs in retails.”