Olive oil price hits 10-year low

Bottles of imported Greek olive oil are seen on a shelf at a grocery store in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Adriene Hill: A new poll this morning shows growing support in Greece for accepting the European bailout and staying in the euro. But not all news today is good out of Europe, olive oil prices are at a ten year low. Which could take a bite out of economies already in trouble.  

From London, here's the BBC's Jon Bithrey.


Jon Bithrey: Europeans spend a lot of money on olive oil for their cooking, but with an economic recession creeping across the continent, many here are spending less on cooking and expensive cooking oils than in years past. And with less demand, the price of olive oil is at its lowest level since 2002. That's been a double whammy for some of the hardest hit countries in Europe -- 70 percent of the world's olive oil supply comes from Spain, Greece and Italy.

Pekka Pesonen is with Europe's main farming union.

Pekka Pesonen: Thanks to the crisis people do not consume olive oil that much -- especially in other European countries -- or they switch to cheaper varieties.

Spanish olive farmers have also been enjoying some of the best growing weather in years, so the country is producing even more olive oil than normal, flooding the market with cheaper bottles, making matters even worse for farmers across Europe.

The European Union has plans to prop up the price farmers get -- buying up 100,000 tons to put into storage and release later. They're also planning a new promotional campaign to get people to use more olive oil in their dinners. But in the meantime it's another threat to jobs in economies that are already in deep trouble.

In London, I'm the BBC's Jon Bithrey for Marketplace.

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