` Harvest Will Not Recoup Low Stocks in Spain

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Harvest Will Not Recoup Low Stocks in Spain

Dec. 7, 2015
By Sukhsatej Batra

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Although Span­ish olive oil pro­duc­tion is expected to increase to 1.2 mil­lion met­ric tons for the mar­ket­ing year (MY) 2015/2016 from the 836,000 met­ric tons in MY 2014/2015, a recent report pub­lished by the USDA under the Global Agri­cul­tural Infor­ma­tion Net­work esti­mates that it will be insuf­fi­cient to make up for the depleted stores of the pre­vi­ous year.

Spain will most likely begin its 2015/2016 mar­ket­ing year with his­tor­i­cally low stock lev­els,” accord­ing to the report.

The 2014/2015 cam­paign saw poor olive oil yields in Spain, down to 836,000 met­ric tons after record lev­els of 1.7 mil­lion met­ric tons pro­duced in MY2013/2014. Poor flow­er­ing and fruit set­ting due to unfa­vor­able con­di­tions in April and May, accom­pa­nied by a delayed har­vest and fruit fly infes­ta­tion played a role in decreas­ing olive oil yield in MY2014/2015.

How­ever, Spain main­tained nor­mal strong exports of olive oil. To con­tinue in its role as the largest olive oil exporter in the world, Spain dipped into its stock of olive oil and increased imports of olive oil from non-EU coun­tries such as Tunisia and Morocco to meet inter­na­tional and national demand.

This has resulted in record low lev­els of olive oil stocks in Spain. Accord­ing to the Span­ish Agency for Food Infor­ma­tion and Con­trol (AICA), olive oil stocks for MY2015/2016 are 64 per­cent less than the lev­els of MY2014/2015 and about 47 per­cent less than the aver­age of the last ten years.

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While olive oil pro­duc­tion in MY2015/2016 is expected to be higher than that pro­duced in the pre­vi­ous mar­ket­ing year, it is not suf­fi­cient to recoup depleted stocks.

In an effort to sta­bi­lize the olive oil sec­tor, the Com­mon Agri­cul­tural Pol­icy (CAP) is ini­ti­at­ing new reforms such as stor­age by pri­vate oper­a­tors and increas­ing bar­gain­ing power and fair dis­tri­b­u­tion along the sup­ply chain.

Another mea­sure await­ing final approval from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion that would help sta­bi­lize olive oil stocks is to allow Tunisia to sup­ply an addi­tional annual quota of 35,000 met­ric tons of olive oil duty-free to the Euro­pean Union until the end of 2017 in addi­tion to the cur­rent 56,700 met­ric tons.



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