OLIVE OIL – A new tense campaign
After two complicated years due to the pandemic, everyone thought they could breathe a little.
But the historically long and intense drought in Europe has dealt a fatal blow to morale and worsen the inflationary economic situation.
It is therefore on the Spanish record prices of 3.95€-4€/kg in extra virgin olive oil that the new 2022/2023 campaign will start.
There is nothing like it to encourage the cooperatives – hitherto reluctant to sell – to get rid off few batches to meet the demand for extra virgin olive oil that appeared last week of September.
It must be said that hunger always brings the wolf out of the woods.
The spotlight is now on the new campaign recently launched.
It is therefore without suspense that it promises to be disastrous in almost all the Mediterranean producer countries.
Except Tunisia, which has a good stock from the 2021 harvest and a milder rainfall, should do well this year with around 250,000 tonnes, Spain, Italy and France have all been afftected by hard dryness.
Cumulate in the same year, a winter and then a summer drought: never seen in the Iberian Peninsula yet accustomed to dry and very hot summers !
The few recent rains have just served to refresh the environment and the leaves of the trees, but remained powerless to reduce the current water stress of the olive groves.
Weakened by the lack of water, the olive trees have not been able to reach the optimal conditions favorable to the good development of the olive whose size leaves little doubt about the yield.
The Junta d’Andalucia should publish its first production estimation in Spain very soon, but rumors are starting to speculate around 1,000,000 tonnes.
Same observation, same concerns on the Italian side, in both countries, we expect a loss of production of at least 30% compared to last year according to the European Commission.
After an exceptional flowering, the high temperatures severely roughed the fruit set (the vegetative cycle phase of a fruit tree which marks the beginning of fruit development) and caused premature fruit fall.
Faced with the extent of the damage, the Italian government has even acknowledged a state of emergency in several regions such as Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna…
In France, the harvest promises to be catastrophic. France Olive estimates a loss of at least 50% in the olive harvest.
All losses combined, European olive oil production should reach 1,700,000 tonnes, i.e. -25% of the volume compared to last year, again according to the European Commission.
Between the rise in production costs, the lower quantities on the market, and the ever-increasing demand, the year promises to be still difficult.
Each year certainly has its share of problems, but how far will the escalation go ?