Better Harvests Predicted in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Tunisia

A European Commission report predicts a three percent increase in olive oil production in the E.U. due to reduced pest activity and some countries entering an on-year.

By Lisa Anderson
Oct. 9, 2019 09:18 UTC

A drop in olive oil pro­duc­tion is antic­i­pated in Spain for the upcom­ing 2019/20 crop year, while a record yield is pro­jected in Portugal.

These were among the pre­dic­tions in the European Commission’s (EC) lat­est tri-annual short-term out­look report released last week.

In the report, the EC esti­mates that European Union (E.U.) mem­ber states will pro­duce 2.1 mil­lion tons of olive oil in 2019, which is three per­cent higher than the aver­age for the past five years.

See Also:2019 Olive Harvest News

The EC attrib­uted this increase in part to a reduced impact from olive fruit flies and other pests. They are also expect­ing the qual­ity of olive oil to be higher due to favor­able weather con­di­tions in the region dur­ing har­vest time.

Following Spain’s bumper har­vest last year, a five per­cent drop in pro­duc­tion in com­par­i­son to their aver­age over the past five years is pre­dicted, with an antic­i­pated yield of 1.25 mil­lion tons.

On the other hand, Portugal expects a yield of roughly 140,000 tons, an increase of 50 per­cent com­pared to its annual aver­age.

Tunisia and Italy are fore­cast to pro­duce around 350,000 tons — well above their aver­age yields; and Greece is antic­i­pated to have an out­put of 300,000 tons rep­re­sent­ing an increase of more than 60 per­cent com­pared with last year and 11 per­cent above their annual aver­age.

This comes as good news for Italy and Greece. In the EC’s April report, last year’s poor har­vests were attrib­uted to abnor­mally harsh weather con­di­tions in some parts of Europe late in the sea­son.

The EC fur­ther­more pre­dicted a drop in exports from the E.U. to the U.S. for the com­ing sea­son. The cur­rent record-high level of exports to the U.S. has been due to stock­pil­ing in antic­i­pa­tion of the impo­si­tion of tar­iffs on American imports of European olive oil, accord­ing to the report.

The fore­cast for exports from the E.U. remained opti­mistic though, with an increase of seven per­cent to 610,000 tons due to the expan­sion of Asian mar­kets. It was noted that from October last year through July, record ship­ments were recorded to Japan, China and Brazil.

Besides exports to E.U. coun­tries, ship­ments else­where increased by 65 per­cent over the past decade and these con­tributed to 25 per­cent of the E.U.‘s growth in exports.

The report esti­mated a decrease in olive oil imports to the E.U. due to abun­dant domes­tic sup­ply, which will lower the demand for imports to an esti­mated 100,000 tons. It is also pre­dicted that domes­tic con­sump­tion in the E.U. could improve due to favor­able pric­ing.

According to the report, con­sumers in the major olive oil-pro­duc­ing coun­tries in the E.U. are more price-sen­si­tive than those in the rest of the trad­ing bloc.

As a result, con­sump­tion in the E.U.‘s major olive oil-pro­duc­ing coun­tries is pre­dicted to grow faster — by six per­cent — than in the rest of the E.U., where growth of four per­cent is antic­i­pated.


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