EU Olive Oil Production Expected to Hit 5 Year High

Olive oil production is expected to rebound in the European Union in the 2020-21 crop year, reaching 2.3 million tons, according to a short-term agri-food outlook report published by the EU.

Investigators from the European Commission said that spring rainfall in Spain had led to excellent flowering. Assuming conditions remain amenable for drupe development, the commission predicts another high yield in the world’s largest olive oil producing nation. Spain produced 1.12 million tons of olive oil in 2019-20.

On the other hand, a dry spring in some of Italy’s major producing regions and a heatwave in Greece are likely to lead to smaller harvests. Last crop year, the two countries harvested 365,000 tons and 275,000 tons, respectively.

Portugal is also anticipating a slightly smaller harvest in 2020 than it had in 2019, when the country produced a record high 140,500 tons. However, the commission expects the country’s production will continue to trend upward.

The commission also estimates that overall olive oil consumption in the EU will increase by six percent in the 2020-21 crop year.

An increase in home cooking due to Covid-19 measures led to a rise in retail sales of olive oil, in particular in the main EU producing countries, and in the use of olive oil in the food industry (eg. for canned goods),” the investigators wrote in the report. In non-producing EU countries, sales could likely decrease as a result of a lower purchasing power.” More