The International Olive Council (IOC) has predicted that world olive oil production will fall to the lowest level in 15 years.
While 3.27 million tons of olive oil were produced in 2013 – 2014, the output for 2014 – 2015 is estimated to reach only 2.39 million tons — 433,000 tons less than the world will consume, according to the IOC.
See more: Complete Coverage of the 2014 Harvest
The poor olive harvests in Spain and Italy, the biggest producers of olive oil, are to blame for the 27 percent drop to the lowest levels since the 1990 – 91 season.
Spain is expected to experience a 54-percent reduction in olive oil production: only 825,700 tons of oil compared to last year’s record output of 1,780,000 tons.
Production in Italy is expected to decrease from 461,200 tons to 302,500 tons — a 34 percent drop.
Spain’s olive crop was adversely affected by hot weather during the flowering season and disease, while Italy’s olives suffered from olive fly infestation and an excessively wet summer.
Meanwhile, some countries have experienced a surplus. Greece, the third-biggest olive-oil producer in the world this year will be within reach of the number two spot with its expected yield of 300,000 tons, up from 131,900 last year (+127%), while Tunisia’s output increased significantly to 260,000 tons from 70,000 (+271%) according to estimates.
Due to decreased outputs, olive oil prices are expected to rise significantly while the IOC predicts that the global consumption of olive oil is set to fall from 3.03 to 2.82 million tons.