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Luis Planas asks Commissioner for Agriculture for extension for private storage of olive oil to help prices recover

Tuesday 26 May 2020

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, sent a letter to the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, asking for an extension to the mechanism for the private storage of olive oil with the aim of helping prices to rise so as to let the sector recover before the start of the next campaign.

The minister recalled that, at Spain's request, the European Commission authorised the activation of this mechanism last October, which led to the storage of 213,445 tonnes of olive oil and helped prices to start to recover in the European markets in February. Now that the period for the storage under the first tenders is coming to an end, Spain feels it is necessary to authorise an extension to avoid exacerbating the crisis in the sector.

According to the minister's comments in the letter, olive oil prices at present are being affected by the COVID-19 health crisis, which is causing rises and falls in the international markets, and a decline in consumption due to the closure of bars and restaurants, coupled with the contraction of tourism around the world.

In addition, the customs duties imposed by the United States on exports of Spanish olive oil are having a clearly negative impact on direct exports and on internal trade flows.

Luis Planas will meet next week with the olive oil sector to review the current situation of the olive oil market and study the implementation of a series of initiatives on which his department is working.

Non official translation