Global olive oil production should bounce back to about 3 million tons this season – up by one fifth on 2012/13, according to a provisional forecast from the International Olive Council (IOC).

In its first newsletter for the new season – which started on October 1 – the IOC said Spain stood to see the most growth as it recovered from its poor harvest last season.

Output is otherwise set to hold steady in the European Union (EU), except in in Portugal, where it is also expected to rise, and in Greece, where it is likely to fall due to high temperatures and hot winds over summer.

The IOC said that among its other member countries, production is forecast to be higher in Morocco but significantly lower in Tunisia, and also down in Turkey, due to poor rainfall during flowering.

“However, it is still very early for these estimates to be considered solid,” it said.

Provisional figures for 2012/13: world consumption down six percent

Final figures are due to be presented next month, but the IOC’s provisional data puts last season’s world olive oil production at about 2.5 million tons – down by just over a quarter on 2011/12’s record 3.37 million tons.

Adverse weather cut Spain’s harvest by 62 percent in 2012/13 and output was also down in Portugal, by 23 percent, but up 22 percent in Greece, nine percent in Italy, 21 percent in Tunisia and two percent in Turkey.

Meanwhile, world consumption in 2012/13 was down about six percent on the previous year’s 3.1 million tons, “driven primarily by decreases in EU countries,” the IOC said.

Global olive oil trade 2012/13: imports into United States down five percent

Imports are up 22 percent in Japan, ten percent in Russia, two percent in China and four percent in Brazil but down five percent on the previous season in the United States, two percent in Canada, and ten percent in Australia, according to the IOC’s latest trade figures, for the first ten months of the 2012/13 crop year (October 2012–July 2013).

Figures for the nine months to June show a rise of 70 percent in extra-EU/27 imports and an eight percent fall in intra-EU acquisitions on the same period a season earlier. “This is obviously linked to the low level of EU olive oil production in 2012/2013,” the IOC said.

Producer prices for extra virgin olive oil

Ex-mill prices for extra virgin olive oil in late September – near the close of the 2012/13 crop year – were two percent lower than the same time a season earlier in Spain, three percent higher in Italy and 23 percent higher in Greece, standing at €2.54, €2.99 and €2.50 a kilo respectively.

Table olives: production and consumption tipped to rise

Table olive production is set to rise about four percent in 2013/14, to more than 2.5 million tons, on the back of increases in Spain and Portugal.

Greece expects a decrease but other IOC members also expect good harvests and Turkey appears poised to step into second place in the production ranking – after Spain and in front of Egypt.

“Consumption for its part is forecast to inch slightly ahead of the level of the previous crop year,” the IOC said.

Global table olive market

Table olive imports rose by 24 percent in Brazil, ten percent in Russia, eight percent in Canada, three percent in Australia, and one percent in the United States in the first ten months of the 2012/13 crop year (October 2012–July 2013).

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