By Julie Butler
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona
It’s yet to be seen if heavy rain in southern Spain in the last few days will boost the expected lean olive oil production in the next season, which starts officially on Monday (October 1).
In one of its driest years this century and with output so far tipped to slump to half of the record 1.6 million tons from last harvest, producers say at least their wrinkled olives should plump up a bit and the rain will aid the following harvest.
Along with the rain – 60 l/m2 in Córdoba and up to 30l/m2 in Jaén according to Olimerca – wholesale prices tumbled this week after three months of steady ascent.
According to Spain’s olive oil price information system POOLred, the reference price for bulk olive oil was down 10c to the equivalent of €2.53/kg today after climbing to €2.64/kg on Monday. Olimerca says it’s “mainly because rain has arrived in most of Andalusia.”
From northern Málaga, El Labrador olive oil producer Rosario López Montero told Olive Oil Times that after almost no rain this year, they’d had a “torrential downpour” of about 100 l/m2 overnight. While vital for her family’s olive trees and important for the following harvest, it had caused some damage and erosion.
López Montero – whose family won a Mario Solinas quality award in 2011 with their La Laguna de Fuente de Piedra extra virgin- said harvest would start in a few days and they were expecting output to be about half of last year’s.
New Mario Solinas category for southern hemisphere
The International Olive Oil Council has opened up a special category in the Mario Solinas Quality Awards for countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
In the just published 2012 /13 crop year rules, it says “oils entered for the competition by countries in the southern hemisphere will have to be from the 2011/12 crop year.”
“They will therefore be included in a new ad hoc category to avoid placing them at a disadvantage with oils from the northern hemisphere, which will have been recently produced.”
This article was last updated September 29, 2012 - 6:15 AM (GMT-4)