Spanish olive producers sold a record-high 1.66 million tons of olive oil in the 2021/22 crop year, according to the Association of Young Farmers and Ranchers (Asaja) of Jaén. In the previous crop year, producers sold 1.64 million tons.
The National Agency for Food Information and Control (Aica) said sales reached 143,540 tons in September 2022, the last month of the crop year. On average, Spanish producers sold approximately 138.3 tons of olive oil per month during the last season.See Also:Olive Oil-Specific Aisles Result in Superior Supermarket Sales
While some exact figures are still missing, officials estimated that about 1 million tons of olive oil were sold on the international market.
The rest was sold for domestic consumption. In the 2020/21 crop year, the International Olive Council estimated olive oil consumption in Spain reached 538,000 tons.
Officials added that the crop year would end with 453,420 tons of olive oil stocks, with more than 224,000 tons stored by bottlers, 218,000 tons stored by mills and 11,000 tons stored by Olivarero Communal Heritage.
Expected ending stocks from the 2021/22 crop year are in line with previous ones, and they will be crucial in supplying the market in the current season, as global olive oil production is expected to drop.
In its official harvest forecast, the Ministry of Agriculture estimated that production would reach 781,000 tons in the current crop year, about 700,000 tons lower than the 2021/22 total. However, other stakeholders believe the total will be closer to 900,000 or 1 million tons.
One notable example of normally fruitful regions experiencing sharp production decreases comes from Sierra de Segura, a region in Jaén with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) certification.
The local council in charge of administering the PDO certification said it expected volumes to fall by 57 percent this year, with the region producing slightly more than 12,000 tons of extra virgin olive oil.
Despite the historically low production estimates for the coming harvest, Luis Carlos Valero, Asaja Jaén’s director and spokesman, said he did not expect significant shocks in the market.
“The market will have to be regulated, and it will be regulated by prices or with the diversion of consumption to other fats,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll get to market shortages, but it makes marketing packaged olive oil very complicated.”