Greek olive oil production up 3.3 pct this year

Greek olive oil production is up 3.3 pct to 310,000 tons this year, a survey by IBHS SA said on Tuesday.

Alexis Nikolaidis, Economic Research & Sectoral Studies Senior Analyst, said that domestic production of olive oil recovered in the 2014/2015 period, rising by a spectacular 127 pct to 300,000 tons. This increase offered a boost in exports, which totaled 149,000 tons in 2015, worth 544.7 million euros, up by 81,800 tons from the previous year. IBHS said olive oil productoin was up in all main production countries in the EU, with international demand remaining strong.

In Spain, production recovered strongly (+66 pct) to 1.4 million tons, while in Italy, production more than doubled to 470,000 tons.

However, Greek olive oil prices remained at lower levels compared with our competitive countries, for reasons mostly related with low standardization rates, while prices are falling in all main production countries.

More analytically, the average price of extra virgin olive oil in Greece at the end of May was 2.9 euros per kilo (-6.1 pct on an annual basis), in Spain prices were 2.93 euros per kilo (-16.5 pct), in Italy 3.55 uros per kilo (-39 pct) and in Tunisia 3.08 euros per kilo (-10.2 pct).

According to market estimates, standardization covers less than 30 pct of domestic production, while the biggest part of domestic demand and of exports is covered by non-packaged olive oil. The majority of exports is chanelled mostly to Italian industries.

Maria Metaxogeni, CEO in IBHS said that Greece needed to raise its market share of its brand product to enhance the credibility of the sector and to give to Greek production the added value missing today, particularly on international level.

The report analyzed financial results of 121 enterprises in the sector. Turnover fell 16.3 pct in 2014 to 406 million euros, EBITDA dropped 45.7 pct to 19 million and pre-tax results showed a loss of 4.0 million euros from earnings of 12 million in 2013. EBITDA margin fell to 5.8 pct.