Italian olive oil production during the 2016/2017 season amounted to 182,000 tonnes, down 62% from the previous year as a result of adverse weather conditions, according to the Istituto di Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo Alimentare (ISMEA).
The figures are among the lowest in recent decades and declined further than the estimates made during the campaign.
Low production has greatly affected both the domestic market and foreign trade. In the first four months of 2017, the country saw a 19% drop in export volumes and a 20% increase in olive oil purchases, mainly of Spanish origin.
ISMEA reports that the 2017/2018 harvesting campaign looks to be more abundant than the previous one, but will certainly feel the effects of a particularly hard winter, followed by spring frosts and summer drought.
Meanwhile, Portugal has also seen a sharp drop of 36.4% in its olive oil production, according to figures published by the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (national statistics institute).
Contributing to the negative results were the spring rains that negatively affected olive groves, leading to a smaller harvest, especially for more traditional varieties.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine