Optimistic Forecasts for Harvest in Italy

Under the current conditions, the yield could exceed 315,000 tons -- lower than the average of the last decade, but still better than in recent years.

Sep. 4, 2019
By Ylenia Granitto

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According to pre­lim­i­nary esti­mates by Coldiretti, based on Ismea/Unaprol data, Italian olive oil pro­duc­tion in the 2019/20 sea­son is expected to increase by 80 per­cent, com­pared with last year.

The orga­ni­za­tion of Italian farm­ers cau­tioned that weather con­di­tions will now be cru­cial in deter­min­ing how the har­vest goes. In the com­ing months, fac­tors such as rains and tem­per­a­tures may have a major impact on vol­umes.

Forecasts are opti­mistic, and we are glad that the south­ern regions have fully recov­ered after last year’s drop in pro­duc­tion.- David Granieri, pres­i­dent of Unaprol

However, under the cur­rent con­di­tions, the yield could exceed 315,000 tons, which is lower than the aver­age of the last decade, but still bet­ter than the pro­duc­tion lev­els reached in recent years.

Last year was the low­est reg­is­tered har­vest over the past three decades, with a 175,000-ton yield. Nevertheless, the poor amount obtained by the Italian olive grow­ers was off­set by the high qual­ity of their pro­duc­tion, which was as high as ever.

See Also: 2019 Olive Harvest News

The first pro­vi­sional global data for the 2019/20 crop year show that Spain could reach 1.35 mil­lion tons of olive oil, down from the 1.77 mil­lion-ton out­put of the pre­vi­ous year. However, pro­duc­tion is expected to increase through­out the Mediterranean region, after a drop in vol­umes last har­vest sea­son.


Italy’s south­ern regions, which account for most of the national out­put, will most likely record a sig­nif­i­cant increase while fore­casts for the north­ern areas are less con­fi­dent. In some cen­tral-north­ern ter­ri­to­ries, dry heat dur­ing late flow­er­ing caused prob­lems which are emerg­ing in var­ied ways.

The sound health of the olive groves in the south appears to be con­firmed by very early exper­i­men­tal har­vests car­ried out in Sicily and Puglia: On August 22, in the province of Palermo, pro­duc­ers tested autochtho­nous vari­eties; on August 27, in Gagliano del Capo, in Salento, fruits were har­vested from plants grafted with olive cul­ti­vars which are tol­er­ant to Xylella fas­tidiosa.

According to Coldiretti, Puglia will record an increase by 70 to 80 per­cent after the dras­tic col­lapse recorded last year, with an extra­or­di­nary recov­ery in the Bari area, in the province of Barletta-Andria-Trani and Foggia, along with very good per­for­mances in Taranto and Brindisi.

Forecasts are opti­mistic, and we are glad that the south­ern regions have fully recov­ered after last year’s drop in pro­duc­tion,” David Granieri, the pres­i­dent of Unaprol, told Olive Oil Times. Our goal is to ensure an increas­ingly sta­ble and com­pet­i­tive pro­duc­tion on inter­na­tional mar­kets. Significant vol­umes are ben­e­fi­cial not only to the indus­try but also to all the allied activ­i­ties because they gen­er­ate new employ­ment and pro­mote ter­ri­to­r­ial devel­op­ment.”

The offi­cial start of the har­vest in Italy is sched­uled for this month. In the sec­ond half of the September, sev­eral mills will be fully oper­a­tional, then har­vest­ing activ­i­ties will grad­u­ally begin through­out the Boot and con­tinue up to November.

The asso­ci­a­tion of olive pro­duc­ers, Aprol Campania, told Olive Oil Times that the first fruits of the region to reach the mill, on September 20, will be those of the Sorrento and Amalfi coasts, along­side other areas near the sea. In the inland areas, the first olives will be picked in early November.

In Irpinia, in the inter­nal areas of Cilento and in most of the pro­duc­tion areas of Salerno and Caserta, the first oper­a­tions in the olive groves are planned for the sec­ond week of October. Producers in the Benevento area are ready to start between the first and sec­ond week of October too.

Fruits are col­lected accord­ing to a range of fac­tors includ­ing vari­ety, soil and cli­mate, the lat­ter of which has become increas­ingly vari­able and will be care­fully con­sid­ered by pro­duc­ers until har­vest.

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