The European Commission has released a brief report on olive oil production expectations towards year 2020. Based mainly on statistical analysis and predictions about the progression of the oil industry compared to past trends, the report is concerned with the ‘big three’ of the olive oil sector; Spain, Italy and Greece.
For Spain, assuming average climatic conditions, olive oil production in 2020 is expected to be approximately 1.68 million tons compared to less than 1.50 tons in 2011, with a fluctuation between 1.43 and 1.86 million tons. The per capita olive oil consumption will remain the same at 13kg/year for a total consumption of 632,000 tons in Spain.
Exports of olive oil are due to follow the trend of the past years reaching 1.047 million tons compared to 840,000 tons in 2011, mostly to markets outside the EU, while imports will not change significantly and stay at 40,000 to 50,000 tons.
Regarding the land used for olive groves in Spain, an increase is expected for irrigated olive groves from 681,000 hectares in 2011 to 771,000 hectares in 2020, while a loss of 20,000 hectares is expected for the non-irrigated groves.
Italy will most likely experience a minor decrease in olive oil production in 2020 to 477,000 tons, compared to 538,000 tons in 2011. Imports of olive oil will continue to be a strong part of the sector and they are expected to be just under 500,000 tons per year until 2020. Exports are expected to approximately 360,000 tons in 2020.
Considering that consumption of olive oil in Italy has been declining during the recent years, the same pattern is expected for the time period until 2020 and consumption will sum up to 360,000 tons.
The land in Italy used for olive trees cultivation will remain unchanged counting to 1.14 million hectares, according to the report.
Olive oil production in Greece is also expected to decline, from 310,000 tons in 2011 to 270,000 tons in 2020. Regarding exports and taking into consideration the fact that the trend of previous years shows a reduction, a slight fall is projected by the report and exports will sum up to 82,000 in 2020. Oil imports in the country are negligible and amount to only 3,000 tons per year.
Consumption of olive oil in the country is also expected to decline, from a total of 228,000 tons in 2011 to 202,000 tons in 2020.
Finally, the land used for olive groves will most likely expand to 767,000 hectares in 2020 compared to 738,000 hectares in 2007, but with a reduction in the yield.