By Julie Butler
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona
Spain’s olive oil production for October to December, the first three months of the season, totaled just 383,000 tons, well under half of that for the same period last season, according to the latest market update from its Olive Oil Agency (AAO).
Yield is slightly down on last year, currently averaging 17.23 percent from just over 2.2 million olives.
And sales have declined, too, with exports 19 percent and domestic consumption 17 percent lower than for the same period last season.
The country imported 7,700 tons of olive oil in December to reach a total of 20,400 tons for the first quarter of the season and its total stocks at the end of December totaled nearly 800,000 tons, the AAO information shows.
Production for the 2012/13 table olive season, which started on September 1, has reached 464,690 tons, down a tenth on last season.
Sales are up 11 percent, with 101,540 tons already exported and 59,260 tons sold in the domestic market.
Olive oil consumption down in Spain
Meanwhile, according to the latest survey by the Spanish government, household consumption of olive oil is down 16.1 percent on the same time a year ago.
The figures, from last November, show that overall household food consumption was nevertheless up 2 percent in the country, where the jobless rate is now 26 percent and nearly six million people are out of work.
The POOLred ex-mill reference price for olive oil as at January 30 was €2.86/kg, up from €2.76 a week before.