Bloomberg News

Spain Olive-Oil Output Seen Plunging 37% by Oil World on Drought

July 03, 2012

Spanish olive-oil production may plunge 37 percent in the year through September 2013 after dry conditions stressed olive trees and as trees need to recover following three years of above-average yields, Oil World wrote.

The country’s output of the oil used for cooking and in salad dressings may slide to 1.1 million metric tons from a record 1.73 million tons in 2011-12, the Hamburg-based oilseed- industry researcher wrote in an e-mailed report. Prices fell to a nine-year low this year after Spanish output jumped at the same time consumption in Spain, Italy and Greece fell, it said.

“Producers in Spain, Italy and Greece are claiming that olive-oil production has become unprofitable,” Oil World wrote. “The prospective severe setback in production will change the fundamentals and initiate a recovery of olive oil prices next season.”

Spain is the world’s largest olive-oil exporter, shipping 842,451 tons of the oil abroad in 2011 with a value of $2.56 billion, according to data from the International Trade Centre, a Geneva, Switzerland-based joint agency of the World Trade Organization and United Nations. The country accounted for almost 54 percent of world exports by volume and 46 percent by value, the data show. Italy is the top importer, the data show.

Spanish olive trees were stressed by unusually dry weather, particularly in Andalusia, from December to April and again in June, Oil World wrote.

Extra-virgin olive oil in Spain for delivery in July or August was $2,172 a ton as of June 28, compared with $1,215 a ton for sunflower-seed oil in northwest Europe and $1,205 a ton for rapeseed oil, Oil World data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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