`Spain’s Express Harvest - Olive Oil Times

Spain’s Express Harvest

Dec. 14, 2015
Erin Ridley

Recent News

This year’s olive har­vest has prac­ti­cally come and gone in Spain, where lack of rain and spring-like tem­per­a­tures have short­ened a process that usu­ally could extend as late as January or February.

According to Cristóbal Gallego, head of the olive oil sec­tor for Cooperativas Agro-Alimentarias de Andalucia, it has been an express har­vest like none that has been seen before.”

Rocio Bolivar from Granada olive oil-pro­ducer Hechizo Andaluz explained to Olive Oil Times, Not hav­ing rain this year means that the major­ity of the har­vests have been smaller given that the olives haven’t been able to grow due to lack of water.” Gallego con­sid­ers the Government of Andalucia’s fore­cast that the region could pro­duce more than 1 mil­lion met­ric tons of oil this sea­son a best-case sce­nario.

Even still, for many this har­vest has yielded higher-qual­ity oils than the year before.

María Molero, a co-owner of Jaén-based Cortijo Spiritu Santo, said in gen­eral, the over­all feel­ing in the province (of Jaén) is that the qual­ity of the olive oil is bet­ter than last year, with more olives being har­vested directly from the tree, and with­out being affected by the lack of rain.”

However, if dry con­di­tions con­tinue, there will be a higher price to pay next year. The trees will grow less and will use their strength just to main­tain them­selves,” Molero explained, so if we don’t get a lot of rain in win­ter and spring to help revive them, next year’s har­vest will likely be scarce.”

A com­pli­cated prospect given that reserves from last year are already low. Producers with min­i­mal stocks will need to be cau­tious know­ing that, between ris­ing demand and a pos­si­bly low-yield­ing har­vest in the year to come, they may need to store addi­tional reserves now.

How this atyp­i­cal sea­son ulti­mately affects the out­put of the cur­rent har­vest remains to be seen, but the gen­eral con­sen­sus is that it will neg­a­tively affect pro­duc­tion at some point.



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