Global Olive Oil Production Will Hit Four-Year High, USDA Estimates

Increasing production paired with rising vegetable oil prices is also expected to yield record exports and olive oil consumption levels.
By Daniel Dawson
May. 24, 2021 09:15 UTC

Olive oil pro­duc­tion is expected to reach a four-year high in the 2021/22 crop year, accord­ing to the lat­est report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA antic­i­pated that pro­duc­tion will reach 3.3 mil­lion tons, its high­est point since the 2017/18 crop year, which saw bumper har­vests in Algeria, Argentina, the European Union, Morocco and Tunisia, along with a record har­vest in Turkey.

See Also:2021 Harvest Updates

The opti­mistic pro­duc­tion fore­cast is mostly fueled by the expec­ta­tion of large yields in Tunisia and the E.U., both of which are antic­i­pated to pro­duce 100,000 more tons in 2021/22 than they did in the cur­rent crop year.

The USDA said that it also expects olive oil exports to hit record highs in the next crop year. E.U. exports are fore­cast to grow by 25,000 tons to reach a total of one mil­lion. Meanwhile, Tunisian exports are expected to nearly dou­ble, reach­ing 225,000 tons.

Along with exports, olive oil con­sump­tion is also expected to hit record-highs, fueled mostly by more avail­abil­ity on the mar­ket and shift­ing con­sumer pref­er­ences for olive oil use in home cook­ing.

Steadily ris­ing veg­etable oil prices over the past year have also made olive oil more afford­able for most con­sumers. While prices have increased in the E.U,’s three bench­mark mar­kets and Tunisia, they have not kept pace with the price of other com­mon veg­etable oils, which have dou­bled in the past 12 months.

As pro­duc­tion, exports and con­sump­tion are all expected to grow, olive oil end­ing stocks are likely to hit a five-year low in both the E.U. and the rest of the world, the USDA added. Olive oil stocks cur­rently sit at 510,000 tons, their low­est point since 2016/17.

Low end­ing stocks and ris­ing demand for olive oil both lay the ground­work for fur­ther price increases in 2022, an allur­ing prospect for pro­duc­ers after more than three years of what they have described as unsus­tain­ably low prices.


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