Figures released by Tunisia’s ministry of agriculture reveal that exports of olive oil reached a record high of 242,000 tons from November 2014 to the end of June 2015.
According to a press release published this week by the ministry, the volume of exports is expected to rise to 260,000 tons by the end of the season. This is a seven-fold increase compared to the previous season with this year’s exports representing revenues of close to 1.5 billion Tunisian Dinars ($760 million).
While many European olive producers experienced disastrous harvests during the 2014/15 season, Tunisia has enjoyed record yields with an increase of 300 percent compared to the 2013/14 season.
Seventy-three percent of Tunisian olive oil was exported to the European Union — with 39 percent delivered to Italy and 28 percent to Spain — while 17 percent was imported by the United States. Spanish imports of Tunisian olive oil increased by 831 percent compared to the previous year, while in Italy this figure stands at 255 percent.
Due to reduced international supply, Tunisian producers were able to take advantage of higher prices for their oil. At the end of December 2014, they received €2.73 per kilogram which increased to €3.48 per kilogram by the end of June 2015.
Tunisia has experienced an exceptional agricultural season thanks to the olive crop which is good news for the otherwise bleak Tunisian economy.