An impressive increase of 211 percent in the global production of table olives over a period of 30 crop years is the most striking figure in market statistics released last month by the International Olive Council (IOC).
This percentage translates to a growth in volume of more than three-fold from 950,000 tons in 1990/91 to an estimated 2,953,500 tons in the 2017/18 season. The most dramatic increases have been noted in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Algeria, Greece, Argentina, Iran, and Morocco.
The estimated yield this year represents an increase of 4 percent worldwide compared to the previous season.
On the other hand, Europe should expect a decrease by 11 percent in its total production of table olives due to the reduction of the harvest in Spain, which is likely to come in at 521,500 tons — 12 percent less than last year.
Other European producer countries, however, should count on a rise in production with Greece and Italy looking for increases of 31 percent and 20 percent respectively.
Egypt and Turkey are heading to a record crop of 650,000 tons and 455,000 tons, translating to an increase of 30 percent and 14 percent respectively.
In the United States production will go up by 9 percent, while in Mexico a similar growth of 11 percent is projected.
Argentina, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia will also achieve enhanced production of table olives compared to the previous season with the rest of the producer countries remaining constant or sustaining a cutback, like Syria by 47 percent and Peru by 1 percent.
At the same time, consumption of table olives grew by 186 percent over the 1990 – 2017 period, the IOC said.
Countries with increased production, not surprisingly, also show an increased consumption: Egypt is targeting a consumption of 450,000 tons compared to 11,000 tons in 1990/91, Algeria 289,000 tons compared to 14,000 tons, and Turkey 355,000 tons compared to 110,000 tons. The European Union member states also saw their consumption growing from 346,500 tons to 585,000 tons.
The IOC data also revealed that the European Union, Egypt, Turkey and the United States together account for 57 percent of global table olives consumption over the last five years.