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World Olive Oil Production and Market

The olive oil tree flourishes in Mediterranean-type climates (between 30-45th latitudes) with hot dry summers and cool winters. The trees are sensitive to the cold during the growing season, but are able to tolerate drought and heat. Olive oil production is still mostly centered in the Mediterranean region, although in recent years we are beginning to see olive oils from regions throughout the world.

Spain with over 320 million olive trees is the number one producer of olive oil at 37% of world production, with 75% of that coming from Andalusia.  The types of olives grown in Spain are the arbequina and verdial varieties of Catalonia, and the hojiblanca, piqual, cornicabra, and lechin varieties of the south. The piqual variety of the south accounts for 40% of all olive trees in Spain.

The second largest producer with 24% of worldwide production is Italy. The types of olives grown in Italia are the coratina in Puglia (Bari) , Ogliarola Barese in Puglia and Basilicata , Carolea in Calabria , Leccino in Toscana and Umbria , Frantoio and Moraiolo in the centre of Italia , Taggiasca in Liguria.
Italians who consume 10 quarts of olive oil per person per year do not produce enough oil for their domestic consumption, yet they are one of the largest exporters of olive oil in the world. Much of their oil is imported, bottled and exported as an Italian product. Spain Greece and Tunisia are their major suppliers.

Greece is the third largest producer with 22% of the world production. And Tunisia the fourth producer with 9% of the world production , the types of olives grown in Tunisia are essantialy represented ( 95%) by two types : Chemlali and Chitoui .

Other countries that produce significant amounts of olive oil are Turkey (7%)  , Syria (7%) and Morocco (2%) .

These seven countries alone account for 90% of world production


Olive oil represents 3% of all fats and oils consumed in the world.

The main olive oil producers are also the main consuming countries. European Union accounts for 82% of world consumption. Mediterranean basin countries represent 90% of world consumption. Other consuming countries are United States, Canada, Australia and Japan.

Production Cost and Market Price

Olive oil is a relatively expensive oil compared to other kinds of oil since it needs a special production treatment: olive crop is a long process (olives are produced only after the maturity of the tree; that means after five years). Harvest is still made by hand in most of the regions. Finally, processing needs an advanced technology, particularly in large producing areas(see technology).

Prices paid to producers are quite unstable, mainly due to the change in the quantities produced from one year to another and the level of stocks. However, it is difficult to assess the price formation mechanism. Refined olive oils are generally less expensive than virgin oils.  A possible explanation would be an insufficent amount of lampante oil to meet demand of refining industry given the good quality of produced virgin oil and as a result an increase in lampante oil prices.

 The producer prices paid on three representative markets of the Europeen Country – Bari (Italy), Heraklion/Messinia (Greece) and Jaén (Spain). And also market of Sfax (Tunisia); their movements influence the prices paid in other regions of the European Community and have an impact on pricing in other producing countries, especially of exports.


Olive oil News
27-03-2015: Spain: Aumentan las importaciones de aceite de oliva en régimen de TPA (sorry only in spanish)
27-03-2015: Spain: Investigadores cordobeses encuentran alternativas sostenibles contra la mosca del olivo (sorry only in spanish)
27-03-2015: Spain: El mercado del aceite de oliva roza las 600.000 toneladas comercializadas (sorry only in spanish)
27-03-2015: Index Predicts Antioxidant Activity of EVOO
27-03-2015: L'olivicoltura algerina in crescita per riconquistare un posto d'onore nella comunità delle nazioni oleicole (sorry only in italian)
27-03-2015: Spain: La producción de aceite de oliva se sitúa en 807.300 toneladas (sorry only in spanish)
26-03-2015: Crete Gets its Own Olive Oil Competition
26-03-2015: Italy: Convegno di Slow Food “Castel del Monte” sulla qualità dell’olio extra vergine d’oliva (sorry only in italian)
25-03-2015: Olio Capitale Hands Baton to Milan Expo
25-03-2015: Spain: Deoleo: Nuevos cambios en el Consejo (sorry only in spanish)
24-03-2015: Italy: l'olivier, or des Pouilles, est menacé (sorry only in french)
24-03-2015: Olive tree disease in Italy alarms EU
23-03-2015: Spain: Las salidas de aceite de oliva en el mercado interior caen un 12,4% (sorry only in spanish)
23-03-2015: Malaga’s olive oil industry attracting importers from China
23-03-2015: Europe Proposes Cutting Down Millions of Olive Trees in Italy to Fight Outbreak
23-03-2015: Italy: Lapedona. Un seminario su "Qualità dell'olio di oliva e tecniche di trasformazione" (sorry only in italian)
18-03-2015: Algeria: L’oléiculture algérienne confrontée au défi de la qualité (sorry only in french)
17-03-2015: Italy: Ecco da dove arrova l'olio che mettiamo in tavola (sorry only in italian)
17-03-2015: Edible olive oil market shows continuous growth in India
16-03-2015: New Zealand: Expect olive oil price rises, says NZ importer
16-03-2015: La Tunisia olivicola alla ricerca di nuovi spazi per un export da 170 mila tonnellate (sorry only in italian)
16-03-2015: Italy: Il mondo dell'olio d'oliva ha un nuovo modello. Si chiama Molise (sorry only in italian)
12-03-2015: Europa se ve obligada a detener la entrada de aceite de oliva de Túnez (sorry only in spanish)
12-03-2015: U.S. Program Provides Hand Tools to Olive Oil Producers in Lebanon
12-03-2015: Spain: Las salidas de aceite de oliva en febrero se quedaron en 100.000 ton (sorry only in spanish)
10-03-2015: Tunisia: Une « excellente année pour l’huile d’olive tunisienne » : l’Union Européenne et les USA, prêts à s’y assaisonner (sorry only in french)
09-03-2015: Olive Oil Consumption in Italy Slides to 25-Year Low
09-03-2015: Press Folder 9th OLIO CAPITALE
09-03-2015: Morocco: Huile d'olives: Meknès abritera le 4e Forum international (sorry only in french)
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