With the new harvest in the northern hemisphere knocking on the door, the olive oil production outlook is good, barring extreme weather in the next months. The new crop opened with last season’s prices but are expected to drop as more is harvested and milled.
The 25% tariff imposed by the Trump Administration on Spanish oil will hardly make a dent since Spain’s over-production for the past two years has driven Spanish oil prices so low as to seek EU subventions. Furthermore, the tariff is applied on finished (i.e. bottled) products; which means that imports in bulk bottled in the USA will be unaffected. Greece, Italy and Portugal were spared.
California production in in an “up” cycle; but with only 15,000 tons produced annually, US olive oil production is less than 5% of domestic consumption, the rest being imported. Significantly, in an effort to beat “Fake Labeling” the Olive Oil Commission of California has announced new mandatory labeling standards for large producers in the state, which are meant to better inform consumers about the provenance and quality of the olive oils they are purchasing. Disguising imports as “Crafted in California” is coming to an end.