The latest statistics for imports of olive oil into Australia show a decline of 19% in the price for packaged virgin olive oil from February to May 2009. The average price per litre in May 2009 was $5.01 for packed virgin olive oil. The price of $3.66/litre for bulk virgin olive oil is a drop of 37% from the high of $5.82/litre in January 2009.
These reduced prices reflect the low prices in oversupplied European markets which are expected to continue for some time.
Quoted prices for bulk olive oil in the Australian market can be expected to fall with some anlaysts predicting an increase of 5,000 tonnes over last year for the current harvest. Prices will possibly be further driven down by the fire sale of substantial quantities of olive oil from the MIS groves in administration and the off-loading of carryover stocks from last season.
While this is not encouraging for producers, it is good news for conumers who will be able to purchase Austrlian olive oil for less. In the long term this will benefit the industry as those consumers who abandon traditional imported brands for Australian oil are likely to continue to buy the local product as prices rise again.