Table Olive Yield Predictions in Spain Move Lower

From an original yield of 590,000 tons, Spain's Interprofessional Table Olive Association has already revised this figure down by more than 10 percent. Depending on climatic conditions, the final yield could be even lower.

Photo courtesy of Asemesa.
Sep. 5, 2019
By Daniel Dawson
Photo courtesy of Asemesa.

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Spain is expect­ing a table olive har­vest of 523,000 tons at most in the 2019/20 crop year, a 15 per­cent decrease com­pared with last year’s record high production.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries’ Interprofessional Table Olive Association had orig­i­nally pre­dicted a yield of about 590,000 tons, but a very dry sum­mer fol­low­ing the unusu­ally cool spring forced them to revise down that prediction.

We have a medium-low crop in almost all vari­eties.- Antonio Rodríguez, sec­re­tary of COAG Málaga

The Interprofessional Association added that the final yield could be even lower if poor cli­matic con­di­tions pre­vailed through­out the harvest.

Subsequently, tem­per­a­tures have risen [since the spring] and are greatly exac­er­bat­ing the con­se­quences of the water deficit which has dragged on dur­ing the agri­cul­tural year for the groves,” the Interprofessional wrote in its report. This fact is caus­ing a decrease of green fruits at the date of issuance of this report and greatly con­di­tions the final result dur­ing the har­vest­ing period.”

See Also: Table Olive News

At 523,000 tons, this year’s yield would be the low­est since 2012 and 10 per­cent lower than the aver­age of the pre­vi­ous five harvests.

In Andalusia, where nearly 80 per­cent of Spain’s table olives are grown and har­vested, one expert expects a medium-low” crop this year.

The har­vest sea­son has arrived three weeks ear­lier than it did in 2018, accord­ing to Antonio Rodríguez, who con­ducted the first assess­ment of the autonomous com­mu­ni­ty’s table olive crop for COAG Andalusia.

He said that the same cli­matic con­di­tions that led to the sharp decrease in pro­duc­tion esti­mates had also caused the har­vest to begin ear­lier, and in all like­li­hood, last for a shorter period of time.

These weather con­di­tions caused many of the olive trees to have a low flow­er­ing rate and led sev­eral vari­eties of olives not to mature properly.

We have a medium-low crop in almost all vari­eties,” Rodríguez said in the report. The only vari­eties that appear to be on pace for a nor­mal har­vest are Cacereña and Carrasqueña olives, which account for less than 10 per­cent of all Andalusian olive groves.

In spite of this year’s poor har­vest, Antonio de Mora, the sec­re­tary gen­eral of Asemesa, told Olive Oil Times that Spain’s lead­ing table olive pro­ducer orga­ni­za­tion, which is part of the Interprofessional Table Olive Association, expects pro­duc­tion to con­tinue trend­ing upwards.

Each har­vest is dif­fer­ent,” de Mora said. Spanish pro­duc­tion, as in the rest of the world, shows a sus­tained trend of growth for many years.”

However, the upward trend of the pre­vi­ous half-decade will cer­tainly be inter­rupted this year. Producers and other mem­bers of the sec­tor will be wait­ing for the Interprofessional Table Olive Association to pro­vide an update on the sta­tus of the har­vest on September 23.

Until then, the weather in Andalusia is expected to con­tinue being hot­ter and drier than nor­mal, which may fur­ther deplete the final pro­duc­tion total.

  • COAG Andalusia

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