The International Olive Council (IOC) announced the first forecasts for this year’s olive oil production (2015/2016). According to IOC the world olive oil production is expected to be higher (over 2.5 million tonnes) than that of 2014/2015 (2.2 million tonnes) but lower compared to 2013/2014 (3.2 million tonnes). Regarding the Spanish production, despite the problems of the high temperatures, it is expected to be increased by 40% compared to the previous year. Mr. José María Penco, an agronomist of the Spanish Association of Olive Municipalities (AEMO) talked about an increase of Spanish production, around to 1.2 million tonnes.
However, Mr. José María Penco mentioned that the prolonged drought in Spain during 2015, will result to fluctuations in production per area. Mr. Penco stated “There will be a great diversification of production between areas in Spain due to a shortage of rainfall during all the previous period. Temperatures hit record levels of 40oC in May (flowering period), especially in the region of Andalusia and were remaining for a long time close to that temperature value. In areas such as Cadiz, Seville and Cordoba, where the flowering process took place earlier, the production was not influenced. As a result, up to the end of July there was a huge difference in production between irrigated and rainfed olive orchards. Now the rainfall in early autumn is expected, which is vital for olive oil formation and the olive fruits growth completion. Despite the aforementioned problems, I appreciate that Spanish production will be increased but won’t exceed 1.2 million tonnes. Last season Spain produced only 835.000 tonnes, when its orchards have the potential to produce up to 1.8 million tonnes”.
However there is a concern in Spain, since as the time passes the stocks decline more and more. Indeed, recently Spain was forced to import olive oil, at very high prices, from Italy and Tunisia to meet its needs. According to the IOC, in late August 2015 the prices of extra virgin olive oil in Spain reached 4.19 euros per kilo while in Italy 5.53 euros per kilo. Over the same period the prices in Tunisia at 4.13 euros per kilo.
Especially for Greece, at this period, in Peloponnese (south Greece) the producer prices range from 3.6 to 4 euros per kilo, while in Crete the value of 3.85 euros per kilo was recorded at an auction in Messara.
It should be mentioned that there is a concern in the international market because of the recent reduction in olive oil consumption in Europe, due to the economic crisis.