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Greek olive oil harvest expected to slump this year

By D. Alexaki

Initial estimates by international analysts point to a roughly 26-percent drop in Greek olive oil production for the coming 2016-17 season, following positive results over the last two seasons, with the focus now turning to prices that domestic producers can expect for the product.

According to a recent study by Infobank Hellastat, one crucial factor in keeping prices for Greece’s eponymous olive oil at higher levels is to increase the percentage of standardization, i.e. bottling and labelling the local product instead of exporting it in bulk.

According to market analyst Alexis Nikolaidis, who authored the study, the level of standardization in the domestic olive oil sector remains at worryingly low levels, especially given that overall Greek exports appear to be slumping this year.

Another factor that is apparently pressuring prices downward is an apparent trend by producers to sell-off their entire harvest, rather than keep reserves, and to await better prices. The reason given is that credit conditions make immediate payment imperative for cash-strapped producers.