Drought, Heat Hit the Table Olive Harvest in Spain

Prices will rise due to poor harvests elsewhere and increasing production costs.
By Daniel Dawson
Sep. 12, 2022 13:29 UTC

Spanish table olive pro­duc­ers are antic­i­pat­ing the weak­est har­vest in a cen­tury, accord­ing to Asaja Sevilla.

The Seville-based chap­ter of the Union of Young Farmers and Ranchers said about 406,000 tons of table olives would be har­vested, a decrease of 38 per­cent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year’s record-high har­vest of 659,000 tons.

The his­toric drought and sear­ing heat­waves in Spain, which had already delayed the har­vest due to a lack of ripen­ing, caused many trees to des­ic­cate or drop their olives to con­serve water as scarci­ties con­tin­ued. The asso­ci­a­tion also warned that the dam­age to some trees might be more long-term.

See Also:2022 Harvest Updates

Asaja Sevilla added that if it were not for last year’s sig­nif­i­cant end­ing stocks of table olives, 429,000 tons, some can­ners and exporters might not have had any left to sell domes­ti­cally after meet­ing their export oblig­a­tions.

Away from Spain, Asaja Sevilla said they expect pro­duc­tion to increase by 35 per­cent to reach 223,000 tons in Greece, despite a recent hail storm dam­ag­ing the trees in the north­ern Chalkidiki penin­sula.

The asso­ci­a­tion also expects table olive pro­duc­tion to rise 62 per­cent in Egypt, reach­ing 808,000 tons.

The rest of the world is expected to expe­ri­ence sig­nif­i­cant pro­duc­tion decreases, with sub­stan­tial declines in the United States (-59 per­cent), Portugal (-19 per­cent), Italy (-17 per­cent), Morocco (-17 per­cent) and Argentina (-4 per­cent).

Overall, global table olive pro­duc­tion is expected to reach 1.7 mil­lion tons, a 3 per­cent increase from last year but 5 per­cent below the rolling five-year aver­age.

However, a poor har­vest is not nec­es­sar­ily bad news for every­one in the sec­tor. Asaja Sevilla expects table olive prices to rise due to the pro­duc­tion decline and an increase in input costs.

The expected price increase is fueled par­tially by an antic­i­pated rise in imports from the United States due to its poor har­vest.

Asaja Sevilla added the other rea­son for ris­ing prices results from the 120-per­cent increase in the cost of diesel, a 180-per­cent increase in the cost of energy and a 100-per­cent increase in the cost of fer­til­izer.


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