Business

World Olive Oil Production Predicted to Top 3.2 Million Tons

Nov. 11, 2013
By Julie Butler

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Global olive oil pro­duc­tion is likely to total at least 3.2 mil­lion tons in 2013/14, accord­ing to a new, higher esti­mate from the International Olive Council.

And world con­sump­tion is likely to stay at about 3 mil­lion tons, the IOC says, despite its latest fig­ures show­ing a fall in exports to the United States, Canada, China and Australia.

IOC tips pro­duc­tion of 1.5 mil­lion tons in Spain, 500,000 in Italy, and 230,000 in Greece

The IOC last month made a pro­vi­sional pro­duc­tion fore­cast of 3 mil­lion tons but said in its October newslet­ter, just pub­lished, that in light of new data received, world pro­duc­tion in 2013/14 “looks set to top 3.2 mil­lion tons.”

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“Although we are still work­ing with fore­casts, this increase is becom­ing more tan­gi­ble since the 2013/14 season, run­ning from October 2013 to September 2014, is now in swing in most of the pro­duc­ing coun­tries except those in the south­ern hemi­sphere,” it said.

The E.U. is expected to pro­vide 2.3 mil­lion tons of global output, with Spain alone tipped to deliver 1.5 mil­lion, Italy 500,000, and Greece 230,000 tons.

Late last month the Andalusian gov­ern­ment released its fore­cast that Andalusia would make more than 1.3 mil­lion tons of olive oil in 2013/14 and Spain about 1.6 mil­lion tons — fig­ures some agri­cul­tural unions said were too opti­mistic.

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Meanwhile, the GEA Westfalia Separator Group’s International Center for Olive Oil Excellence pre­dicted Spain would make just 1.35 mil­lion tons and global output reach 2.76 mil­lion tons.

Global trade: up 21 per­cent in Japan but down in the U.S. Canada, Australia and China

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With fig­ures now in for 11 months of the last season — thus cov­er­ing October 2012 to August 2013 — the IOC said imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil were up 21 per­cent in Japan, 8 per­cent in Russia and 2 per­cent in Brazil on the same period a season ago.

But they fell 15 per­cent in Australia, 4 per­cent in the United States and 5 per­cent each in Canada and China.

Figures for the first ten months of the crop year (those for August were not yet avail­able) show olive oil imports into the E.U. rose 65 per­cent, “obvi­ously linked to the low level of EU olive oil pro­duc­tion in 2012/2013,” the IOC said.

Producer prices for extra virgin olive oil

- Spain: “Standing at around €2.36/kg, the prices paid to pro­duc­ers in Spain in late October were 5 per­cent lower than the same time a season ear­lier as mar­kets reacted to the announce­ment of a good crop in the 2013/14 season, which opened on 1 October 2013, and the like­li­hood of olive oil stor­age being emp­tied as much as pos­si­ble to make way for new season pro­duc­tion.

“Even so, it should be remem­bered that prices had begun moving down­wards already at the begin­ning of April 2013,” the IOC said.

- Italy: “After falling in the first weeks of October, prices in Italy switched direc­tion and rose to €3.04/kg in the last week of the month, up by 7 per­cent on the same time the year before. Previously, they had risen from a low of €2.61/kg in the last week of November 2012 to €3.23/kg in the last week of April 2013, at which point they pro­gres­sively dipped to €3.12/kg (-3 pc) where they held steady.”

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- Greece: “Prices have dropped in recent weeks, reach­ing the same level as in Spain in the last week of

October (€2.36/kg). Despite this decline, prices are still 7pc higher than the same period a year ear­lier.

The dif­fer­ence between the price of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil cur­rently lies at around €0.20/kg in Spain and €0.68/kg in Italy.