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Olive oil stocks in Spain – the world’s largest producer – could be depleted before the start of the next harvest, according to the latest data from Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) reported by Olive Oil Times.

The country’s stocks had fallen to 455,000 tonnes at the end of June, the 31 July report said.

With stocks expected to run low and forecasts of another low yield, experts were anticipating prices to continue rising, Olive Oil Times wrote.

“There has never been a situation like this one where, off the back of a historically poor harvest, another one is also expected. We are in a situation where prices will continue to grow until next May,” Juan Vilar, strategic consultant in the sector, was quoted as saying.

By comparison, stocks at the end of last June totalled 809,000 tonnes, and by September – the last month of the 2021/22 crop year –stood at 454,600 tonnes, the report said.

“We are going to arrive in October with almost zero stock,” Vilar told Olive Oil Times.

Although the olive oil market was typically inactive in July and August, activity usually picked up in September, the report said.

Fears of an olive oil shortage had led to continuing price rises, with extra virgin olive oil selling for €7.625/kg (US$8.29/kg) – an increase of almost 125% compared to last July – according to data by the Spanish Federation of Olive Oil producers Infaoliva.

Prices for virgin olive oil and lampante olive oil at origin were also at record highs but had not increased as sharply as extra virgin prices due to higher levels of availability relative to demand, the report said.

Going forward, olive oil prices depended mainly on the likelihood of rainfall in Andalusian olive groves in September, October and early November, Olive Oil Times wrote.