Early estimates suggest Spain is set for a return to higher olive oil production in 2013/13 with a harvest of well over a million tons.

After a slump to just under 615,000 this season — down 62 percent on the previous one — Carlos Cabanas. director general of Production and Agricultural Markets in the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, said this week the coming harvest stood to be a more “normal” one and in the realm of 1.2 million tons.

Meanwhile, the regional government of Andalusia doesn’t usually release its forecast until late in October but its Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Elena Víboras, said this harvest was in line to be a big one, though she didn’t release any figures.

And the Spanish Association of Municipalities of the Olive Tree (AEMO) says the indications reaching it bode for a relatively good year, with no bumper crop but a medium-high harvest.

Gregorio López, olive oil spokesman for COAG, one of Spain’s main farmer unions, said talk of about 1.2 million tons was reasonable but the reality could easily be affected by climatic events.

Drought and late frost cursed the current season – from October 2012 to the end of this month – but Spain had three bumper years before that, reaching a record of 1.6 million tons in 2011/12.

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