Olive oil prices rose dramatically between January and April 2004, driven both by strong demand and concerns about low total production in the Mediterranean.

During the period from May to August, prices have been relatively stable at these levels as supply and demand have been in equilibrium.

Generally, consumption in the major markets has been
lower than originally forecast for 2004 due to the high prices and the general economic climate in Europe. As a result, concerns regarding a potential shortfall in supply have receded. However, there is unlikely to be very much carryover stock at the end of this season.

Expectations are that buyers will return to the market after the August break and that this will result in a firming of bulk olive oil prices during September and October.

New season prospects look positive despite the relatively mild and wet summer.