Olive oil prices have skyrocketed in Crete and Greece, with a staggering 35% increase on the shelf in just one month. In supermarkets, olive oil now costs 13.5 euros per liter. However, there are still supermarkets offering more affordable pricing as last year’s stocks still last. If you live in Crete, you should consider buying olive oil now to last you through the winter.
Because of this remarkable surge, producers now report a steep increase in the product’s cost. Once known as a nutritional “gold,” olive oil has now transformed into an economic gold on the price exchange. New olive oil production in Greece will decrease by at least 50% compared to last year. The price per liter on Crete Island will reach 8.40 euros, and many producers will have to purchase oil this year. The estimated olive oil production in Crete will not likely exceed 30,000 tons.
Consequently, consumers will have to bear the burden of expensive olive oil. Moreover, because of the substantial price hike, there will be changes in eating habits and the catering sector.
The Heraklion Agricultural Cooperative (EASH) vice president, Myron Chiletzakis, raised concerns about the global decrease in oil production and the widespread issue of olive oil theft. In an interview with “CRETE TV,” he emphasized these problems. “On the 19th of September, the USDA officially declared a 130% increase in olive oil prices compared to 2022. It is now priced at circa $8,900 per ton. In Greece, we experienced a 35% increase in September compared to the previous month. The price on the shelf rose from 9.20 euros to 13.25 euros per liter.”
According to the Heraklion Agricultural Cooperative, last year’s olive oil production on the island reached 130,000 tons. In contrast, this year, it is estimated not to exceed 30,000 tons. Consequently, there won’t even be enough oil to meet domestic consumption.
With the decline in olive oil production, the economic impact is felt across the entire supply chain. Farmers, who heavily rely on olive oil as their primary source of income, suffer from dwindling profits due to reduced yields. This affects their livelihood and leads to job losses in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, the decrease in production trickles down to other industries, such as packaging, transportation, and retail, causing a ripple effect that harms the overall economy.
As demand exceeds supply, consumers are forced to pay higher prices for this beloved ingredient. This affects households and businesses in the food and hospitality industry that heavily rely on olive oil for their culinary creations. The rising costs can ultimately lead to declining consumer spending and further strain the economy.