` Italian Olive Oil Production Off by Nearly a Third This Year, Forecasts Suggest - Olive Oil Times

Italian Olive Oil Production Off by Nearly a Third This Year, Forecasts Suggest

Dec. 4, 2020
Paolo DeAndreis

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Italian olive oil pro­duc­tion will decrease by 30 per­cent in the cur­rent crop year, com­pared with the pre­vi­ous one.

According to the Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market (Ismea) and the Unaprol con­sor­tia, the 2020/21 pro­duc­tion is fore­casted to reach 255,000 tons, down from the 336,000 tons recorded in the pre­vi­ous crop year.

The cur­rent rel­e­vant out­put decline is asso­ci­ated with an out­stand­ing olive oil qual­ity.- Savino Muraglia, Coldiretti Puglia

Officials said the decrease comes as a con­se­quence of sig­nif­i­cantly lower pro­duc­tion in the south­ern regions of the coun­try, which tra­di­tion­ally pro­duce the major­ity of Italy’s olive oil. Puglia alone usu­ally accounts for half or more of the coun­try’s out­put.

In Puglia, Calabria and Sicily, Ismea recorded pro­duc­tion decreases of 43 per­cent, 38 per­cent and 15 per­cent, respec­tively. The unusual weather con­di­tions that hit the south­ern regions, many pro­duc­ers head­ing into an off-year of the trees’ alter­nate bear­ing cycles, and the grow­ing impact of Xylella fas­tidiosa in Puglia have all con­tributed to the siz­able decrease.

See Also: 2020 Harvest Updates

The num­bers show Puglia’s out­put reach­ing 121,161 tons (194,000 in the pre­vi­ous sea­son), fol­lowed by 32,005 tons in Calabria and 29,200 tons in Sicily. According to the Apulian branch of the farmer asso­ci­a­tion Coldiretti, the pro­longed drought and bad weather reduced pro­duc­tion in some inland farm­ing areas by as much as 60 per­cent.

The cur­rent rel­e­vant out­put decline is asso­ci­ated with an out­stand­ing olive oil qual­ity,” added Savino Muraglia, the pres­i­dent of Coldiretti Puglia, empha­siz­ing how dimin­ished pro­duc­tion could favor a price increase in the mar­kets.

In the cen­tral and north­ern regions of Italy, olive grow­ers have expe­ri­enced a com­pletely dif­fer­ent type of sea­son, with pro­duc­tion out­puts increas­ing in a num­ber of places.

According to the offi­cial fig­ures pub­lished by Ismea, Lazio has seen its out­put grow by eight per­cent to almost 12,000 tons; Tuscany expe­ri­enced a 31-per­cent increase, exceed­ing 13,000 tons; pro­duc­ers in Umbria saw a 70-per­cent increase, with pro­duc­tion reach­ing 6,500 tons; and the yield in Liguria dou­bled to 2,895 tons.

See Also: The Best Italian Olive Oils

The Coldiretti Liguria branch has empha­sized the flip­side of this year’s lower yield:

Generally speak­ing, we expect the new sea­son Italian olive oil to be of the best qual­ity thanks to the per­fect flow­er­ing, no adverse weather con­di­tions and the rare mod­est attacks of the fruit fly,” Ismea wrote.

According to Coldiretti the sig­nif­i­cant pro­duc­tion decrease is wor­ry­ing” in 2020, a year dur­ing which Italian fam­i­lies have increas­ingly pur­chased food items of the typ­i­cal Mediterranean diet.

In Italy, nine fam­i­lies out of ten con­sume extra vir­gin olive oil every day, with a grow­ing atten­tion to the qual­ity of the prod­uct,” Coldiretti wrote. Italy is the most rel­e­vant con­sumer in the world when it comes to olive oil, with 504 mil­lion kilo­grams (556,000 tons) con­sumed on aver­age annu­ally in the last five years.”

To sus­tain the Italian prod­uct in the dif­fi­cult times caused by the Covid-19 pan­demic, Coldiretti once again asked Italians to buy 100-per­cent Italian extra vir­gin olive oil, while being wary of prod­ucts being sold at very low prices.





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