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Italian Production in 2019 Exceeds Initial Estimates

Italian olive oil production reached 365,000 tons, an increase of 110 percent compared to 2018 and 25,000 tons higher than initial estimates. Consumption, imports and exports also increased.

Apr. 21, 2020
By Ylenia Granitto

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Italian olive oil proĀ­ducĀ­tion in the 2019/20 crop year amounted to nearly 365,000 tons, a higher total than preĀ­viĀ­ously expected, accordĀ­ing to the latĀ­est report by the Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market (Ismea).

Based on decĀ­laĀ­raĀ­tions that were proĀ­vided by mills up until mid-March, when harĀ­vestĀ­ing operĀ­aĀ­tions were conĀ­cluded, the 2019 yield is more than douĀ­ble the volĀ­ume of the preĀ­viĀ­ous year.

The national outĀ­put has returned to good levĀ­els and, even though it is far from being conĀ­sidĀ­ered abunĀ­dant, the growth figĀ­ures are relĀ­eĀ­vant.- Tiziana Sarnari, Ismea marĀ­ket anaĀ­lyst

ā€œThe national outĀ­put has returned to good levĀ­els and, even though it is far from being conĀ­sidĀ­ered abunĀ­dant, the growth figĀ­ures are relĀ­eĀ­vant,ā€ Tiziana Sarnari, the Ismea marĀ­ket anaĀ­lyst, told Olive Oil Times.

ā€œOn the basis of the data anaĀ­lyzed, the peninĀ­sula can be divided into two parts: the north with drasĀ­tic reducĀ­tions that in some cases have led to almost zero volĀ­ume, and the south with increases in all regions, some of which have douĀ­bled or tripled the poor yield of the preĀ­viĀ­ous years.ā€

See Also:2019 Harvest News

Puglia, which usuĀ­ally accounts for half of national proĀ­ducĀ­tion but sufĀ­fered from severe frosts last year, recovĀ­ered to the norĀ­mal outĀ­put and recorded 208,755 tons.

In Calabria, volĀ­umes more than tripled (+284 perĀ­cent) comĀ­pared to the preĀ­viĀ­ous crop year, exceedĀ­ing the averĀ­age of the last four years by a large marĀ­gin. Meanwhile, proĀ­ducĀ­tion in Sicily returned to norĀ­mal levĀ­els, with 34,000 tons.

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Basilicata also regĀ­isĀ­tered a huge increase in proĀ­ducĀ­tion (+412 perĀ­cent). Large increases were also expeĀ­riĀ­enced in Campania and Sardinia, while more modĀ­est gains have been recorded in Lazio, Marche, Abruzzo, and Molise.

On the other hand, Tuscany, Umbria, Emilia Romagna and Friuli Venezia Giulia all expeĀ­riĀ­enced proĀ­ducĀ­tion decreases in 2019.

However, the sharpest decline was recorded in Trentino Alto Adige (-98 perĀ­cent), folĀ­lowed closely by Lombardy (-91.7 perĀ­cent), Veneto (-91.2 perĀ­cent), Piedmont (-88 perĀ­cent) and Liguria (-71.6 perĀ­cent) ā€“ areas which account for a small perĀ­centĀ­age of the national proĀ­ducĀ­tion.

In response to these data, Italian olive oil prices in the first quarĀ­ter of 2020 folĀ­lowed a downĀ­ward trend, decreasĀ­ing by 44 perĀ­cent comĀ­pared with the same period last year (falling from ā‚¬5.61/$6.08 per kiloĀ­gram to ā‚¬3.10/$3.36).

ā€œThe abunĀ­dant stocks at the beginĀ­ning of the camĀ­paign, espeĀ­cially in Spain, has driĀ­ven down interĀ­naĀ­tional prices,ā€ Sarnari said, pointĀ­ing out that in Italy the decline had intenĀ­siĀ­fied in early sumĀ­mer and perĀ­sisted until the autumn, with the openĀ­ing of the mills and the expecĀ­taĀ­tion of a reaĀ­sonĀ­able proĀ­ducĀ­tion.

According to the report, Spain also regĀ­isĀ­tered a 21 perĀ­cent drop in prices, which fell to ā‚¬2.13 ($2.31) per kiloĀ­gram, comĀ­pared to ā‚¬2.68 ($2.91) at the same time last year.

ā€œThis decrease in prices, which were already parĀ­ticĀ­uĀ­larly attracĀ­tive, has allowed botĀ­tling comĀ­paĀ­nies to buy at affordĀ­able rates both in Italy and abroad, and so far, despite the curĀ­rent sitĀ­uĀ­aĀ­tion due to the Covid-19 criĀ­sis, they do not seem to have supĀ­ply probĀ­lems,ā€ the Ismea anaĀ­lyst said.

The stocks were, thereĀ­fore, effecĀ­tive in offĀ­setĀ­ting the slight decrease in world olive oil proĀ­ducĀ­tion.

According to the latĀ­est estiĀ­mates by the International Olive Council, Spain sufĀ­fered a conĀ­sidĀ­erĀ­able decline in proĀ­ducĀ­tion, recordĀ­ing a 35 perĀ­cent decrease comĀ­pared with 2018.

On the other hand, Greece expeĀ­riĀ­enced an increase, although proĀ­ducĀ­tion was lower than expected at the beginĀ­ning of the harĀ­vest. Tunisia and Turkey also expeĀ­riĀ­enced proĀ­ducĀ­tion increases.

ā€œOver the last two months, as mills gradĀ­uĀ­ally ended their activĀ­ity, the marĀ­ket has gone through a more reflecĀ­tive phase, in which botĀ­tling comĀ­paĀ­nies are in no hurry to buy, while the proĀ­ducĀ­ers wait for more favorĀ­able prices,ā€ Sarnari said.

She added that priĀ­vate storĀ­age aid is also havĀ­ing an impact on prices.

Moreover, based on data received from the ą>ż=.ī=ų¹šąāC)Nēõ”_še¤“³~™BItalian National Institute of Statistics (Istat), Ismea indiĀ­cates that for 2019, Italian olive oil and pomace imports have exceeded 600,000 tons at an expenĀ­diĀ­ture of ā‚¬1.4 bilĀ­lion ($1.52 bilĀ­lion).

While this figĀ­ure repĀ­reĀ­sents a 9.5 perĀ­cent increase in volĀ­ume, it is also a 13 perĀ­cent decrease in spendĀ­ing, due to the reducĀ­tion in interĀ­naĀ­tional prices.

Exports also increased slightly in volĀ­ume, reachĀ­ing 339,000 tons, but only amountĀ­ing to ā‚¬1.37 bilĀ­lion ($1.48 bilĀ­lion) in value, a decrease of 8.5 perĀ­cent.

The abunĀ­dant availĀ­abilĀ­ity of Spanish olive oil helped to meet growĀ­ing Italian demand as olive oil conĀ­sumpĀ­tion also grew by 26 perĀ­cent.

Meanwhile, imports from Greece and Tunisia decreased. Exports to the United States remained staĀ­ble, while those to Germany, France and the United Kingdom grew.

ā€œWe have to wait a few weeks, when the sitĀ­uĀ­aĀ­tion conĀ­cernĀ­ing the health criĀ­sis will be more defined in Italy, Spain, Greece and Tunisia,ā€ Sarnari said, adding that in the comĀ­ing months proĀ­ducĀ­ers and exporters would have to face the uncerĀ­tainty of the U.S. tarĀ­iffs and the impleĀ­menĀ­taĀ­tion of Brexit.

ā€œNow, howĀ­ever, the issue of the global health criĀ­sis still remains, and the time and ways to get back to norĀ­mal will be cruĀ­cial to underĀ­stand the develĀ­opĀ­ment of trade,ā€ Sarnari conĀ­cluded.





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