Harvesting olives in Catalonia

Olive oil production in the Spanish region of Catalonia has fallen by one-third this season with a stronger decrease in Lower Ebro Montsià and Lleida.

In an announcement today, the Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives of Catalonia (FCAC), said there will be a 33 percent reduction overall with volume estimates calculated at 25,000 tons.

This compares with 37,400 tons last year and an average annual production of 32,000 tons for the region.

The FCAC, which represents and defends Catalonian agricultural cooperatives, has broken down production levels for the differing olive oil producing regions in Catalonia.

There is considerably lower production in Lleida, in the west of Catalonia, while the region of Siurana is expecting a slight increase, although this is not definitive at the moment, according to the a press release.

Lleida’s volumes have gone down 18 percent — from 8,500 last year to 7,000 tons — during this year’s campaign.

Meanwhile, production in Lower Ebro Montsià has sharply declined from 23,000 tons last season to the current 12,000 tons, a 48 percent decrease.

Despite the steep decline in production, the FCAC remains buoyant about the price levels from this year’s campaign.

“Last season the average price of oil rose 45 percent, due to lower production at the state level,” says head of the FCAC, Toni Galcerán.

“This year, the price at source should remain stable because there will be a balance between supply and demand.”

One of the factors behind this year’s low quantities was the weather during the summer months including a lack of rain in olive growing heartlands and high temperatures in spring which continued through the summer.

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