Catalonian Producers Warn of Worst Season in 15 Years

Catalonian producers warn that olive oil production in the region will be even lower than previously expected and that major price increases may ensue as a result.
Areny Mountain in Tarragona province, Catalonia, Spain
By Simon Roots
Feb. 4, 2023 18:16 UTC

The Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives of Catalonia (FCAC) warns that olive oil pro­duc­tion for the 2022 – 2023 sea­son could fall to 16,000 tons, far lower than the aver­age of 31,000 tons for the region.

If the fore­cast proves accu­rate, it would make it the worst sea­son in 15 years, with an almost 25 per­cent lower out­put than the 20,600 tons pro­duced in the 2018/19 sea­son, the pre­vi­ous record low. If pro­duc­tion reaches 16,000 tons, the results would be even lower than the pre­vi­ous fore­cast of 19,000 tons made in September.

Antoni Galceran, head of olive oil at the FCAC, explained that the drought with which we’re bur­dened after two con­sec­u­tive years of rain­fall deficit, aggra­vated by the heat waves that fol­lowed each other since May, and the heavy frosts of April, has led to a his­toric fall in the olive oil har­vest, 50 per­cent lower than the aver­age in Catalonia, that has severely affected rain­fed areas.”

In addi­tion to per­sis­tently unfa­vor­able mete­o­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions, the drop in pro­duc­tion has been aggra­vated over the past year by increased mate­ri­als and energy costs, qua­dru­pling in twelve months.

See Also:Olive Oil Business News

The FCAC has requested an urgent meet­ing with the Department of Climate Action. According to Galceran, expec­ta­tions are not good, and […] it is nec­es­sary to estab­lish mea­sures to address the sit­u­a­tion suf­fered by coop­er­a­tives in the olive oil sec­tor today in order to avoid the sub­stan­tial increase in con­sumer prices towards which we see our­selves head­ing.”

Throughout 2022, the con­sumer price of olive oil in Spain rose a stag­ger­ing 50 per­cent. Extra vir­gin olive oils con­tinue show­ing record-break­ing weekly increases dur­ing the first few weeks of 2023.

Though the pro­duc­tion drop is fore­cast to be 25 per­cent across Catalonia, sev­eral indi­vid­ual areas are expected to suf­fer even worse declines.

In Baix Ebre and Montsià, out­put could be as low as 4,500 tons, an 80 per­cent reduc­tion from the aver­age. In Lleida (Garrigues and Segrià), the drop is fore­cast at approx­i­mately 50 per­cent (6,000 tons), and in the pro­duc­ing areas of Tarragona, the sit­u­a­tion is vari­able. In the provinces of Barcelona and Girona, around 1,000 tons are expected, 33 per­cent less than aver­age.


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