Producers in Spain expect a lower olive oil yield in the 2021/22 crop year than they harvested in 2020/21, data presented by officials at Expoliva 2021 indicate.
The decrease in the country’s production is due to the reduced output of olive oil projected for Andalusia, the barometer of the Spanish olive oil industry accounting for almost 80 percent of Spain’s yield.See Also: 2021 Harvest Updates
According to Carmen Crespo, the Andalusian minister of agriculture, fisheries and rural development, producers in the autonomous community expect to yield around 1,050,300 tons of olive oil in the current season.
The amount translates to a decrease of 5.5 percent compared to the 2020/21 crop year and a reduction of 4.5 percent compared with the rolling five-year average.
The estimates lead to a total volume of around 1.3 million tons of olive oil for the whole country in the current crop year, slightly below the rolling five-year average of 1.4 million tons.
Olive oil consumption in the country, on the other hand, reached 412,000 tons in 2020, an increase of 16 percent compared to 2019, the minister added, with “the most significant increase” of 19 percent recorded for extra virgin olive oil.
Crespo also highlighted the challenges that Andalusian farmers face, mainly due to the unpredictable weather.
“We are in a time especially conditioned by the weather,” she said, adding that high temperatures, as well as “the shortage of rain, especially in spring, and after an agricultural year with an appreciable water deficit, are reflected in the olive grove.”
The Spanish Association of Olive Municipalities (AEMO) also anticipated a mediocre harvest and stressed that the stock of olive oil from the previous crop year was lower than usual.
“The current stock amounts to just 400,000 tons, a quantity significantly lower than last year, which covers only two and a half months of trading,” the association said in a statement. “We are ultimately facing a season with moderate production, starting with a much lower stock.”
However, olive oil prices are expected to remain unaffected by the change in production, the association further noted.
“What is certain is that there is absolutely no signal that would make us predict a drop in prices for the next few months,” AEMO added. “We, therefore, predict stable and strong prices, not only for this entire campaign but probably also for the next. All this depends, of course, on the evolution of the climate.”