EU Olive Oil Exports to Reach Record Levels

The European Commission predicts that high worldwide demand combined with decreased production in non-EU countries will result in record EU exports for 2018-19.

A report by the European Commission predicts that olive oil exports from the European Union (EU) will reach record levels for the current 2018-19 season.

In its April 2019 report, Short-Term Outlook for EU Agricultural Markets in 2018 and 2019, the European Commission projects that an increase in olive oil production in EU countries combined with high worldwide demand and a decline among non-EU producers will result in a record-high EU exports.

The EU is the world’s biggest exporter of olive oil. More specifically, the report predicts that olive oil production will grow by three percent for 2018-19, and exports will rise by 11 percent to 625,000 tons, a record high.

In 2017-18, olive oil exports from the EU increased by only one percent compared to the previous year. According to provisional figures, 563,400 tons of olive oil were exported from the EU in 2017-18, while for 2018-19 this figure is estimated to be 573,000 tons.

The EU is also the world’s leading olive oil producer, with Spain being its largest producer by far, followed by Italy and Greece. In the period from 2012 to 2017, 67 percent of the world’s olive oil was produced in the EU Provisional figures put EU production at 2,186,000 tons for 2017-18 while for 2018-19 this is estimated to be 2,101,000 tons.

Despite production shortfalls in Italy and Greece – argely due to the harsh weather experienced in these parts of Europe last year, it is thanks to Spain’s good harvest that the EU’s production figures are up. Spain produced 1.7 million tons of olive oil in 2018-19, which represents the second highest amount since 2003. More