Lower Output in Greece Blamed on Climate

Affected by extended heat and fly attacks, Greece's annual olive oil output is forecast to drop by 17 percent, and Italy's more than double that. Still, Greece remains a surplus country with a loyal client base and strong export potential.

By Stav Dimitropoulos
Dec. 6, 2016 10:01 UTC

The offi­cial start of the Greek olive sea­son found the price of olive oil at sat­is­fac­tory lev­els, but the pro­duc­tion out­put in decline lead­ing to lower con­sump­tion.

The ini­tial olive oil fore­casts pre­dicted that Greece, with an annual out­put exceed­ing 300,000 tons over the past two years, would expe­ri­ence a rel­a­tively reduced pro­duc­tion this year. The first esti­mates were talk­ing about an out­put rang­ing from 240,000 to 250,000 tons.

The dimin­ished out­put will cre­ate pres­sures in both the qual­ity and quan­tity.- Giorgos Oikonomou, Sevitel

Experts are now pre­dict­ing that the annual olive oil out­put will drop even fur­ther. We are expect­ing an annual out­put of roughly 200,000 tons and a decrease of 20 to 25 per­cent in aver­age con­sump­tion,” said Giorgos Oikonomou, gen­eral direc­tor of the Greek Association of Industries and Processors of Olive Oil (Sevitel), and exec­u­tive board mem­ber of the sci­en­tific, non-profit orga­ni­za­tion Filaios.
See Also:Complete Coverage of the 2016 Olive Harvest
This is the direct result of var­i­ous rea­sons, the most impor­tant being the cli­mate con­di­tions, that is the extended heat and increased tem­per­a­tures of the pre­vi­ous months, and the olive fruit fly infes­ta­tions dur­ing flo­res­cence, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing Easter period,” Oikonomou told Olive Oil Times

On the other hand, neigh­bor­ing olive oil giant and com­peti­tor Italy has suf­fered an even worse fly attack,” said Oikonomou. Indeed, inter­na­tional agen­cies fore­cast a plunge of 49 per­cent for Italian annual olive oil pro­duc­tion as opposed to a 17 per­cent decline in the Greek one.

Generally speak­ing, down­ward trends in olive oil pro­duc­tion are not restricted to Italy, or the Mediterranean basin alto­gether (for exam­ple, Portuguese annual pro­duc­tion is also expected to fall by 4 per­cent).

Europe’s olive oil sup­ply, which accounts for 78 per­cent of the global olive oil sup­ply, will shrink by 17 per­cent this year, and the whole world will see a decline of 14 per­cent in the Liquid Gold annual pro­duc­tion, at least in com­par­i­son with the amounts it enjoyed last year.

Giorgos Oikonomou

In Greece, this dimin­ished out­put will cre­ate pres­sures in both the qual­ity and quan­tity of olive oil,” said Oikonomou. Still, Greece clas­si­fies as a sur­plus coun­try, so the prob­lems are not insur­mount­able.”

Greece is dis­tin­guished by her loyal client base, her loyal traders, as I pre­fer to call them, but the mar­ket is expand­ing. To put you in the pic­ture bet­ter, first only the Greek homogeny, for exam­ple the Greeks of Astoria, would buy exported Greek olive oil. Now, you can find our exports in large super­mar­ket chains unre­lated to the Greek dias­pora.”

Sevitel’s direc­tor stressed that the Greek olive oil mar­ket is leap­ing ahead steadily, and talked about the association’s plans to solid­ify stan­dard­iza­tion of Greek olive oil. Finally, he men­tioned that the sec­tor will take off if the state looks into the inter­na­tional olive oil cam­paign aspect more enthu­si­as­ti­cally among oth­ers, but also if Greek pro­duc­ers coor­di­nate their actions, fol­low­ing the foot­steps of coun­tries like Spain.


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