` Latest Data on Weak Spanish Harvest

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Latest Data on Weak Spanish Harvest

Mar. 27, 2013
By Julie Butler

Recent News

Spain drib­bled out less than 49,000 tons of olive oil in Feb­ru­ary, about a third of its pro­duc­tion the same month last year and a fifth of that in the pre­vi­ous three years.

As it nears the end of its worst har­vest in a decade, the total pro­duc­tion for the five months since Octo­ber was just 596,000 tons — 62 per­cent down on the same period last sea­son, accord­ing to the lat­est mar­ket report from Spain’s Olive Oil Agency (AAO).

About 3.2 mil­lion tons of table olives have been through the mill, with an aver­age yield of 18.26 per­cent, 2.74 points below last sea­son.

Trade remains depressed, too, with exports down nearly a quar­ter on the same period last year and domes­tic sales slid­ing 17 per­cent to just 205,700 tons for this Octo­ber to Feb­ru­ary.

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Exports up by half, stocks down a quar­ter

Fig­ures for last month are still pro­vi­sional but show Spain has so far imported 40,400 tons of olive oil, up by half on the same period last sea­son.

Its stocks at the end of Feb­ru­ary were esti­mated at 856,300 tons, which is 24 per­cent less than the aver­age for the last four sea­sons.

Out­look on prices, next har­vest

The Span­ish gov­ern­ment has been in talks with farmer unions in Spain over their calls for a res­cue pack­age for the olive oil sec­tor. Drought and late frost has cut yields dras­ti­cally this sea­son but low prices saw pro­duc­ers strug­gle even dur­ing the last three bumper har­vests.

Far­m­gate prices have gained more than one euro since a recov­ery started mid-last year but despite much talk of the inevitabil­ity of fur­ther rises beyond €3/kg, the POOLred ex-mill ref­er­ence price at March 26 was €2.83/kg.

Mean­whie, heavy rain this month has increased the occur­rence of olive leaf spot, which could reduce olive pro­duc­tion next sea­son, warns Nicolás Chica, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Granada branch of farmer union UPA.

And in Cat­alo­nia there are con­cerns about the con­se­quences of less aer­ial spray­ing for olive fly in the wake of gov­ern­ment fund­ing cuts.

Table olives

Since the start of the table olive sea­son in Sep­tem­ber, 482,310 tons have been har­vested, dip­ping 8 per­cent on last sea­son.

Both exports and domes­tic sales have grown, by 12 and 4 per­cent respec­tively, and stocks at the end of Feb­ru­ary stood at 576,640 tons, a fall of 9 per­cent on last sea­son.



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