Going rate has doubled in the last year

The price of olive oil is set to skyrocket to as much as €10 per litre by the end of the year, and as much as €15 in Europe, farmers associations said on Wednesday.

Price increases have been forecast due to production of olive oil being negatively affected by adverse weather in Spain and Italy as well as Cyprus, which are the largest olive oil producing countries in the world.

Local farmers’ union PEA chairman Kyriakos Kailas told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that extra virgin olive oil prices have doubled in the last year and called on producers to “respect consumers and not make disproportionate increases in olive oil prices.”

He said at present, the international going rate for olive oil is around €8.60 per litre, adding that global olive oil production has halved.

“The global market will not be satisfied,” he said, saying the forecast increase in prices “is not normal and is worrying everyone”.

He added that “at the end of the day, we see households being attacked from all sides.

“Olive oil is a commodity that everyone needs,” he said.

In addition, he said his union had asked the government to step in and deal with the issue of reduced olive oil production, saying “climate change and high temperatures have greatly impacted the issue of fruitlessness in all tree crops”.

Meanwhile, the Nicosia district secretary of the EKA farmers’ union Thomas Thoma said “prices will shoot up, but no one knows where they will end.

“The lower the production is, which covers expenses such as spraying and picking, the more the producer will have to increase the price of the product,” he said, adding that the harvest is set to begin in October or November.

Additionally, PEK farmers’ union chairman Christos Papapetrou said “they are saying olive oil will become a luxury item this year”.

He said fruit trees in Pitsilia were damaged by hail in the winter months.

Speaking about the situation abroad, he said “Spain is making 50 per cent of its normal production because it experienced severe droughts this year and from a [regular] production of 1.3 million tons of olive oil, it will not exceed 600,000 tonnes this year according to estimates.

“Everyone’s calculations suggest that in Europe and especially in Greece, the retail price of olive oil will go up to as high as €15 per litre,” he said.