`E.U. Olive Oil Production Expected to Hit 5-Year High

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E.U. Olive Oil Production Expected to Hit 5-Year High

Jul. 10, 2020
Daniel Dawson

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Olive oil pro­duc­tion is expected to rebound in the Euro­pean Union in the 2020/21 crop year, reach­ing 2.3 mil­lion tons, accord­ing to a short-term agri-food out­look report pub­lished by the E.U.

Inves­ti­ga­tors from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion said that spring rain­fall in Spain had led to excel­lent flow­er­ing. Assum­ing con­di­tions remain amenable for drupe devel­op­ment, the com­mis­sion pre­dicts another high yield in the world’s largest olive oil pro­duc­ing nation. Spain pro­duced 1.12 mil­lion tons of olive oil in 2019/20.

See more: 2020 Har­vest Updates

On the other hand, a dry spring in some of Italy’s major pro­duc­ing regions and a heat­wave in Greece are likely to lead to smaller har­vests. Last crop year, the two coun­tries har­vested 365,000 tons and 275,000 tons, respec­tively.

Por­tu­gal is also antic­i­pat­ing a slightly smaller har­vest in 2020 than it had in 2019, when the coun­try pro­duced a record-high 140,500 tons. How­ever, the com­mis­sion expects the country’s pro­duc­tion will con­tinue to trend upward.

The com­mis­sion also esti­mates that over­all olive oil con­sump­tion in the E.U. will increase by six per­cent in the 2020/21 crop year.

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An increase in home cook­ing due to COVID-19 mea­sures led to a rise in retail sales of olive oil, in par­tic­u­lar in the main E.U. pro­duc­ing coun­tries, and in the use of olive oil in the food indus­try (e.g. for canned goods),” the inves­ti­ga­tors wrote in the report. In non-pro­duc­ing E.U. coun­tries, sales could likely decrease as a result of a lower pur­chas­ing power.”

Along with con­sump­tion, the vol­ume of exports is also expected to grow by 10 per­cent. How­ever, the fail­ure of olive oil prices to recover through­out the bloc means that the value of those exports will be 24 per­cent lower than the cur­rent crop year.

There were pos­i­tive sig­nals point­ing toward a price sta­bi­liza­tion early this year fol­low­ing the acti­va­tion of pri­vate stor­age aid,” inves­ti­ga­tors wrote. How­ever, Jaén prices of vir­gin and extra vir­gin olive oil started to decline again at the begin­ning of the COVID-19 cri­sis in March.”

There is some opti­mism that prices will rebound later in the year. The com­mis­sion esti­mates that olive oil stocks in the trad­ing bloc will fall to 609,000 tons by Octo­ber, which would help sta­bi­lize the cur­rent sup­ply with the demand.


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