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EU Olive Oil Exports to Reach Record Levels

The European Commission predicts that high worldwide demand combined with decreased production in non-E.U. countries will result in record E.U. exports for 2018/2019.

Port of Valencia, the busiest in Spain and fifth busiest in Europe.
Apr. 26, 2019
By Isabel Putinja
Port of Valencia, the busiest in Spain and fifth busiest in Europe.

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A report by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion pre­dicts that olive oil exports from the Euro­pean Union (E.U.) will reach record lev­els for the cur­rent 2018/2019 sea­son.

In its April 2019 report, Short-Term Out­look for E.U. Agri­cul­tural Mar­kets in 2018 and 2019,’ the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion projects that an increase in olive oil pro­duc­tion in E.U. coun­tries com­bined with high world­wide demand and a decline among non‑E.U. pro­duc­ers will result in a record-high E.U. exports. The E.U. is the world’s biggest exporter of olive oil.

More specif­i­cally, the report pre­dicts that olive oil pro­duc­tion will grow by three per­cent for 2018/2019, and exports will rise by 11 per­cent to 625,000 tons, a record high.

See more: Olive Oil Trade News

In 2017/2018, olive oil exports from the E.U. increased by only one per­cent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year. Accord­ing to pro­vi­sional fig­ures, 563,400 tons of olive oil were exported from the E.U. in 2017/2018, while for 2018/2019 this fig­ure is esti­mated to be 573,000 tons.

The E.U. is also the world’s lead­ing olive oil pro­ducer, with Spain being its largest pro­ducer by far, fol­lowed by Italy and Greece. In the period from 2012 to 2017, 67 per­cent of the world’s olive oil was pro­duced in the E.U. Pro­vi­sional fig­ures put E.U. pro­duc­tion at 2,186,000 tons for 2017/2018 while for 2018/2019 this is esti­mated to be 2,101,000 tons.

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Despite pro­duc­tion short­falls in Italy and Greece – largely due to the harsh weather expe­ri­enced in these parts of Europe last year, it is thanks to Spain’s good har­vest that the E.U.‘s pro­duc­tion fig­ures are up. Spain pro­duced 1.7 mil­lion tons of olive oil in 2018/2019, which rep­re­sents the sec­ond high­est amount since 2003.

The report points out that increased sup­ply will have an effect on prices. In Feb­ru­ary 2019, the aver­age price of vir­gin olive oil in the E.U. came to €290 per 100 kg, 17 per­cent less than the pre­vi­ous year.

The E.U. is also the world’s biggest con­sumer of olive oil: E.U. cit­i­zens con­sume between 1.5 and 1.6 mil­lion tons of olive oil a year.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s report cau­tions that pro­duc­tion is expected to fall for the 2019/2020 cam­paign due to insuf­fi­cient rain­fall dur­ing the first few months of 2019 in Por­tu­gal, Spain, the south of France and north­ern Italy.

The report also shares pro­jec­tions for other agri­cul­tural sec­tors. Com­pared to olive oil, cereal and sugar pro­duc­tion in the E.U. have faired poorly and are still slowly recov­er­ing after last year’s spell of bad weather.

The extreme weather pat­terns expe­ri­enced in some parts of Europe in late 2018 in the form of abnor­mal snow­fall, high winds, heavy rain­fall and flood­ing have been blamed for the poor olive har­vest in Greece and a record low in olive yields in Italy.





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