Italian olive oil production is set to drop by 26% this year compared to 2019, according to Confagricultura, a group that represents Italy’s agriculture sector.
However, Italy is not the only country to register a negative performance, with other olive oil producers such as Portugal (-35%) and Greece (-25%) also seeing production fall.
In contrast to the other Mediterranean countries, Spain will consolidate its leadership in the sector this year due to a 27% increase in production, which in turn will help lift the overall European olive oil production sector by 5% this year.
Italy, with just over one million hectares of olive groves and more than 400 varieties, is expected to produce an estimated 270,000 tonnes in 2020, with a drop off in production most marked in Puglia, a region that accounts for nearly half of Italian olive oil.
Although a positive output is expected in Central and North Italy, these regions account for only 20% of national production.
Confagricultura points out that 50% of Italian olive oil exports are targeted to four countries: the United States (€420 million, accounting for 32% of the total), Germany (€168 million, 12.8%), Japan (8%) and France (7.4%).
Italy, which is the second biggest olive oil exporter after Spain, has average sales prices 59% higher than its Mediterranean rival, despite the fact that it accounts for 15% of world production on average, compared to 45% for Spain.
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