`Drought Dooms Run of Bumper Havests in Spain - Olive Oil Times

Drought Dooms Run of Bumper Havests in Spain

Mar 21, 2012 12:14 PM EDT
Julie Butler

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Spain’s next olive har­vest could be down 50 per­cent due to the cur­rent drought, agri­cul­tural union ASAJA warned today.

The agri­cul­tural sec­tors in gen­eral in both Spain and Portugal have been crip­pled by one of the dri­est win­ters in 70 years, lead­ing the union to call today (March 21) for urgent gov­ernemnt aid.

European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Cioloş has already said he would be open to expe­dit­ing pay­ment of EU agri­cul­tural aid to the coun­tries in light of the situation’s sever­ity.

Though it rained and snowed today in var­i­ous parts of the Iberian penin­sula, dam­age has already been done as far as next year’s olive har­vest.

Spain’s olive oil sec­tor was already on its knees any­way but won’t really feel the drought’s impact until next sea­son, when the olive sec­tor could lose more than half of its crop, ” accord­ing to an ASAJA press release. In hard num­bers that could mean Jaén is down more than €400 mil­lion ($529 mil­lion) ‚” it said.


The sil­ver lin­ing is that the olive oil pro­duc­tion slump could lead to an upturn in the cur­rent rock-bot­tom far­m­gate prices.

This season’s har­vest is another bumper one in Spain. Drawing on esti­mates in a report by olive oil giant Deoleo, Europa Press reports that Spanish olive oil pro­duc­tion for 2011 – 2012 will be up 14 per­cent on last year to 1.59 mil­lion tons. The coun­try started the sea­son with stocks of 473,700 tons.

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