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Prices rising.

Harvesting of the olive oil crop is now almost complete in Spain. Total Spanish production this year is estimated to be 1.3 million tonnes, compared with initial estimates of 1.5 million tonnes--last year's crop was just 865,000 tonnes.

The absence of any carryover stocks and the poor Greek crop mean overall supply may, however, be insufficient to meet demand. As a consequence, the trade has seen prices increasing steadily since early February.

And the latest reports from Greece are that the heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures earlier in the winter have caused severe damage to olive groves.

Traders expect to see olive oil prices increase over the next few months, with the main Spanish producers reluctant to sell, preferring to wait for higher prices. Only a reduction in world demand could halt these increases.
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Title Annotation:Dispatches--the global update
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Apr 3, 2004
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