Olive Oil Production Up More Than 25 Percent, Consumption Edges Higher

In its monthly newsletter, the International Olive Council released its preliminary data for the 2017/18 harvest season, which indicates increases in production, consumption and imports.

Oct. 8, 2018
By Daniel Dawson

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Pro­vi­sional data ana­lyzed by the Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil (IOC) fore­casts a 28 per­cent increase of olive oil pro­duc­tion this year com­pared with last.

Global pro­duc­tion reached 3,315,000 tons in the 2017/2018 crop year, although the data is only pro­vi­sional.- Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil

The data, which was pro­vided by both mem­ber and non-mem­ber coun­tries, indi­cate the global pro­duc­tion will reach 3,315,000 tons for the 2017/18 crop year, an increase of 723,500 tons com­pared with last year.

Tunisia expe­ri­enced the largest increase, pro­duc­ing 280,000 tons, which was a 180-per­cent increase com­pared with last year. Italy also had a strong sea­son, pro­duc­ing 428,900 tons, an increase of 135 per­cent.

Por­tu­gal, Argentina and Greece also expe­ri­enced large increases, pro­duc­ing an addi­tional 94 per­cent, 81 per­cent and 77 per­cent, com­pared with last year, respec­tively.

Mean­while, Turkey and Morocco enjoyed more mod­er­ate increases, pro­duc­ing 48 per­cent and 27 per­cent more olive oil than last year, respec­tively. Over­all, the Euro­pean Union (EU) increased olive oil pro­duc­tion by 25 per­cent com­pared with last year.


The notable excep­tions to the pro­duc­tion increases were in Alge­ria and Spain, which expe­ri­enced decreases of an esti­mated 31 per­cent and 2.7 per­cent, respec­tively, com­pared with last year. How­ever, Spain remains the world’s sin­gle largest pro­ducer with an out­put of 1,256,200 tons, mak­ing up about 38 per­cent of the world total.

Accord­ing to the IOC, olive oil con­sump­tion also increased by 9 per­cent in the 2017/18 har­vest sea­son, reach­ing 2,958,000 tons.

Along with con­sump­tion, imports also increased in seven of eight of the IOC’s bench­mark mar­kets. These mar­kets are gen­er­ally char­ac­ter­ized as coun­tries that con­sume more olive oil than they pro­duce, with the excep­tion of the E.U.

© Olive Oil Times | Data source: Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil

Imports to Brazil in the 2017/18 crop sea­son grew the most at 29 per­cent, fol­lowed by Canada at 12 per­cent, the United States at four per­cent, Rus­sia at two per­cent and both Aus­tralia and Japan at one per­cent.

China was the only coun­try not to expe­ri­ence growth, with imports decreas­ing by eight per­cent com­pared with the pre­vi­ous year. How­ever, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment had not released data since April 2018, so this fig­ure could change.

In the EU, imports from non-mem­ber coun­tries increased by 91 per­cent this har­vest sea­son. Exports from Tunisia were the largest con­trib­u­tor to this increase. Mean­while, intra-EU imports decreased by six per­cent com­pared with last year.

Global extra vir­gin olive oil prices in the four largest pro­duc­ing coun­tries remained fairly sta­ble” through­out the year but expe­ri­enced some decreases in Sep­tem­ber.

Based on both offi­cial coun­try data and esti­mates from the IOC Exec­u­tive Sec­re­tariat, world olive oil pro­duc­tion in 2018/19 is expected to fall by 7.6 per­cent to 3,064,000 tons. Olive oil con­sump­tion is expected to remain at a sim­i­lar level.

Even so, the EU is expected to increase pro­duc­tion by 1.1 per­cent, with most of the growth dri­ven by Spain. Italy, Greece and Por­tu­gal are all expected to expe­ri­ence decreases. Out­side of the EU, Alge­ria, Argentina, Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey are all expected to expe­ri­ence decreases as well.

How­ever, these fig­ures are based on pre­lim­i­nary esti­mates. The IOC Coun­cil of Mem­bers will con­duct a more exten­sive sur­vey in Novem­ber to update these fig­ures.

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