` Andalusia Boasts Record Olive Oil Exports Amidst Drought - Olive Oil Times

Andalusia Boasts Record Olive Oil Exports Amidst Drought

Sep. 2, 2014
Olive Oil Times Staff

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Andalusia, Spain

The Spanish comu­nidad autónoma (CCAA), Andalusia is cel­e­brat­ing a huge increase in olive oil exports for the first half of 2014. According to the Extenda-Trade Promotion Agency of Andalusia, exports between Juanuary and June, 2014 reached €1.07 bil­lion ($1.4 bil­lion).

The num­bers marked a 76 per­cent increase com­pared to the same period in 2013. In recent months a crip­pling drought is plagu­ing the region, and this year’s har­vest is expected to be much less fruit­ful.

The explo­sive growth of exports in Andalusia is partly thanks to the increase in US imports of Spanish olive oil, help­ing the coun­try take the lead over Italy as the world’s largest olive oil exporter. US imports of Andalusian olive oil tripled over the first half of 2014. Andalusia is by far the largest pro­ducer of olive oil in Spain, con­tribut­ing to nearly three quar­ters of the country’s total exports.

The pos­i­tive num­bers are wel­come in the region, where wide­spread drought is fore­cast to dev­as­tate this season’s har­vest. The har­vest, which occurs from October to January, is antic­i­pated to fall by 40 per­cent com­pared to last year.

Not even the most opti­mistic are pre­dict­ing a mil­lion tonnes,” said David Erice of Spain’s Small Farmers Union in an inter­view with The Guardian. We’re expect­ing some­thing closer to 2012, when pro­duc­tion was around 700,000 tonnes.”

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The wildly suc­cess­ful har­vest of last sea­son is also a con­tribut­ing fac­tor to the pro­jected fall in pro­duc­tion. Trees become exhausted after a large har­vest, and often pro­duce fewer olives the fol­low­ing year.

September’s olive oil futures are at their high­est level since June 2013, as con­sumer prices are expected to rise €0.50 ($0.66) per liter. In 2012, another debil­i­tat­ing drought led to a 13% increase in price.


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