Olive oil production in Tunisia has increased fourfold, making it the second largest producer after Spain.
This is the first time Tunisia comes in second place in olive oil production figures, with this year’s yields estimated at 280,000 to 300,000 tons, a 400 percent increase from last year’s figure of 70,000 tons.
Spain’s production has been estimated at 600,000 tons, putting it in first place again despite its poor olive harvest. While many European olive producers in Italy and Spain have experienced an exceptionally bad harvest because of poor weather and olive fly infestations, Tunisia has had a record olive season.
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There has also been a bumper harvest in citrus fruits and dates in Tunisia this year and the cereal crop has experienced an 80 percent increase in yields.
Though Tunisia is a major olive oil producer, only a small percentage of it is consumed at home where olive oil is being replaced by other vegetable oils in the traditional Tunisian diet.
Between 60 and 70 percent of Tunisia’s olive oil is exported to the EU, namely Spain and Italy. Tunisian olive oil is also exported to over 60 markets around the world including the US, Canada, France, Russia, China and a few Arab countries under as many as 80 different brand names.
Tunisia’s olive oil exports represent 40 percent of its agricultural exports and 10 percent of total exports.