An olive plantation in Jaén, Spain

Andalusia’s Minister of Agriculture, Fishing and Rural Development Carmen Ortiz revealed today that the government anticipates a substantial increase in olive production for the 2015-2016 harvest season.

National production of olive oil could reach 1.2 million metric tons, he said, a 43-percent rise over last year’s output of just above 800,000 tons.

Meanwhile, the production in Andalusia alone could exceed 1 million tons of oil, a 53 percent increase.

It is Spain’s leading olive oil-producing region, Jaén — which saw one of the larger decreases in production last year — that is poised for the most impressive increase this time. Estimates predict its output to reach 485,000 tons of olive oil, up 111 percent from the 2014-2015 harvest.

Other Andalusian regions are predicted to see production jumps as well, with Córdoba up 54 percent, Málaga 24 percent, Cádiz 17 percent, and Almería 16 percent.

The regions of Granada and Seville will maintain roughly the same levels, whereas Huelva, whose production was not affected last year, may actually see a reduction this year of 37 percent.

The overall growth forecast, though just an early prediction, could serve as a huge relief after last year’s low production.

Ortiz explained that the combination of the coming year’s production and the remaining stock would allow Spain to meet its domestic needs of around 500,000 tons, while exporting some 800,000 tons abroad.

The forecast was welcome news for more than just the industry — consumers could see lower olive oil prices with the production surge.

Ortiz was careful to point out that the numbers were initial predictions that could change based on various factors over the course of the coming months of harvesting.

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