FACUA Reveals Bottle Of Major Company’s Virgin Olive Oil Was €14 More Expensive In Spain Than Portugal

Image of olive oil on a table.

Image of olive oil on a table. Credit: Sebastian Duda/Shutterstock.com

FACUA has detected a difference of €14 between the price of a five-litre bottle of El Corte Inglés brand extra virgin olive oil when sold in Spain or Portugal.

The association has brought this observation to the attention of the Spanish Ministry of Consumer Affairs due to the fact that since January 1 it was prohibited to increase profit margins on any foodstuffs affected by the VAT reduction.

This product was on sale for €41.95 in the El Corte Inglés supermarket online store in Spain. Until Tuesday, September 12, the exact same bottle was selling for €27.89 in the online store of this distribution chain in Portugal. On Wednesday 13, the company suddenly raised the price in its neighbouring country to equal that in Spain, before taxes.

The product sold in both countries is identical

As verified in a statement from by FACUA-Consumers in Action, the product in both countries is the same extra virgin olive oil.

It is even presented in the same format, and packaged in both cases by Aceites del Sur-Coosur SA for El Corte Inglés, a company with its tax headquarters in the Jaén municipality of Vilches.

The bottles sold in both countries even share the same EAN: 8433329060158. This number is a European barcode that is used as a product identifier.

In Spain, the price of the product this Thursday 14 is identical in El Corte Inglés and Hipercor. Monitoring carried out by FACUA at Hipercor shows that it has increased by 51.8 per cent between January and September. It has gone from €27.63 to €41.95 euros. The biggest increase occurred this month, by no less than 20.7 per cent compared to the August price.

Portugal charges zero per cent VAT

Since last April, as a measure to fight inflation, Portugal applied zero per cent VAT to a series of basic foods, including olive oil. This measure, in principle, will remain in place until the end of October.

In Spain, olive oil is also among the basic foods to which the Government applied a VAT reduction since the beginning of 2023. In the specific case of oil, VAT has dropped from 10 to 5 per cent.

The €41.95 at which a bottle of El Corte Inglés extra virgin olive oil is sold at is €39.95 before taxes. Therefore, the difference with the price it had until Wednesday in Portugal is €12.06 euros if VAT is not included.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com