Olive oil production in Italy dropped by 57% in 2018 compared with figures from 2017, a study has found.
The data comes from an ISMEA report, which has defined the season as 'one of the worst vintages ever for national olive growing.'
The sector report, based on production declarations from December, indicates that olive oil production stood at 185,000 tonnes last year, which is much lower than the optimistic forecasts made in October of last year.
The biggest losses were registered in southern Italy, particularly in Puglia, which alone represents about half of national production.
Production decreased by almost 65% due to frosts and phytosanitary problems that hit the olive groves.
ISMEA has pointed out that this is the third time in six years that a negative performance has been observed due to adverse weather conditions.
Impact On Markets
The lack of products is already affecting the market, with the price of extra virgin olive oil reaching €5.60 per kilogram in December (+40% compared to June), with values higher than €7.00 per kilogram in Sicily, and close to €6.00 per kilogram in Bari.
The comparison of prices on an annual basis remains negative due to the pressure from the Spanish market, which saw abundant production.
According to the latest estimates, Iberian production reached 1.6 million tonnes (+24% in 2017), resulting in a drop in Spanish prices, which also had a knock on effect on the Greek and Tunisian markets.
© 2019 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.