`Olive Oil Sales Slump in Spain, Production Forecasts Again Revised Downward - Olive Oil Times

Olive Oil Sales Slump in Spain, Production Forecasts Again Revised Downward

By Daniel Dawson
Mar. 27, 2023 14:04 UTC

Olive oil pro­duc­tion will not reach 700,000 tons in the 2022/23 crop year, accord­ing to Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

The min­istry’s lat­est report, pub­lished last month, revised pre­vi­ous esti­mates down to 680,000 tons, a third below ini­tial esti­mates in August.

Analysts and agri­cul­tural asso­ci­a­tions pre­dicted the yield would fall to 1 mil­lion tons by the end of the sum­mer. However, by November, the International Olive Council pre­dicted that Spain would pro­duce 780,000 tons at the start of the har­vest.

See Also:Italian Farmers Take Stock of Current Harvest, Look Ahead to Challenges

Now, data from Spain’s Food Information and Control Agency (AICA) show 652,080 tons of olive oil had been pro­duced by the end of February. The agency expects Spain to pro­duce less than 30,000 tons in the last two months of the har­vest.

Producers across Spain suf­fered from the dev­as­tat­ing impacts of extreme heat waves and the his­toric drought, espe­cially in the south­ern region of Andalusia, the world’s largest olive oil-pro­duc­ing region.

In May, scorch­ing tem­per­a­tures dam­aged the blos­soms of many trees in Andalusia, caus­ing them to wilt and not pro­duce fruit.

Across the coun­try, the drought, which some experts said is the worst of the past mil­len­nium, forced trees to con­serve water for core func­tions instead of pro­duc­ing olives.

Along with pro­duc­tion, olive oil sales in Spain also fell sig­nif­i­cantly in the first five months of the crop year. Provisional data from AICA show that sales reached 484,600 tons from October 2022 to February 2023, a 25-per­cent decrease com­pared to the same period in 2021/22.

As a result, imports in the first five months of the crop year rose from 95,000 in 2021/22 to 117,000 tons, a 23-per­cent increase.

Despite ris­ing imports, end­ing stocks fell by 44 per­cent, slip­ping from 1.33 mil­lion in the pre­vi­ous crop year to 740,000 tons in the cur­rent one.

Meanwhile, min­istry data show that exports have reached 725,000 tons in the first five months of 2022/23.

Looking ahead to the 2023/24 crop year, some pro­duc­ers are wor­ried that the dry start of the year in Spain por­tends another below-aver­age har­vest.

Along with dimin­ished stocks, this com­bi­na­tion will keep pres­sure on global sup­ply and has led some experts to spec­u­late that high olive oil prices will per­sist for longer as a result.


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