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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
25-11-2014: La production d'huile d'olive s'effondre en Europe, une aubaine pour la Tunisie (sorry only in french)
25-11-2014: Could the Crisis in Italy Have Been Prevented?
25-11-2014: Sydney Opera House Uses Olive Oil, Too
25-11-2014: Olio: Ue, tappo antirabocco solo in Italia, Portogallo, Spagna (sorry only in italian)
24-11-2014: Tunisia: Huile d’olive : les exportations pourraient dépasser un milliard de dinars (sorry only in french)
24-11-2014: Spain: Deoleo invierte 600.000 euros en los laboratorios de la fábrica de Córdoba (sorry only in spanish)
20-11-2014: Spain: Sovena planta un millón de olivos superintensivos en Córdoba (sorry only in spanish)
19-11-2014: EU:Olive oil production slips as pests damage crop
19-11-2014: Italy: Olio d’oliva, annata 2014: l’Italia perde fino all’80% della produzione (sorry only in italian)
19-11-2014: Italy: Dal 25 novembre olio d'oliva con tappo antirabbocco obbligatorio in tutti i ristoranti (sorry only in italian)
18-11-2014: European Partnership to Certify Olive Oil Traceability
18-11-2014: Bad weather and parasites batter European olive harvest, may push up olive oil prices
17-11-2014: Researcher to Share Details of ‘Thrilling Discovery’
17-11-2014: New App Helps Farmers Manage Daily Harvest Data
13-11-2014: El Oleocanthal: una molécula revolucionaria en el aceite de oliva virgen extra (sorry only in spanish)
13-11-2014: La Turchia vuole prendere la leadership dello scontento nel settore olivicolo (sorry only in italian)
13-11-2014: New Solutions for Managing Olive Mill Waste Water
13-11-2014: Italy: Olio d’oliva, dal 13 dicembre provenienza riportata sulla parte frontale dell’etichetta (sorry only in italian)
13-11-2014: Sicily Ready for PGI Certification
13-11-2014: Algeria: L'huile d'olive est-elle un produit de luxe? (sorry only in french)
13-11-2014: Italy lost the leadership in olive oil market in Japan
12-11-2014: Tunisia: Une étude FAO-BERD estime très faible la production oléicole tunisienne (sorry only in french)
11-11-2014: Italy: Per l'olio d'oliva un anno da dimenticare (sorry only in italian)
11-11-2014: 10th ‘New Olive Oil Days’ in Vodnjan, Croatia
11-11-2014: Italy: Olio, crolla la produzione per il maltempo (sorry only in italian)
11-11-2014: Italy: Olio d'oliva: prezzi in aumento e made in Italy a rischio. Coldiretti: "Maltempo e mosca olearia hanno distrutto i raccolti" (sorry only in italian)
11-11-2014: Destruction of olive trees in Turkey triggers protests
10-11-2014: University of Arizona Hosts 2nd Annual Olive Harvest
10-11-2014: Tunisia: Sfax confronté à la pénurie de main-d'oeuvre pour la cueillette des olives (sorry only in french)
10-11-2014: Tunisia: Récolte d’olives record et mesures draconiennes pour la protéger (sorry only in french)
10-11-2014: Tunisia: agricoltura, 2014 annata record per raccolta olive (sorry only in italian)
10-11-2014: Greece Holds ‘World Record’ in Olive Oil Production
07-11-2014: Italy: Olio d'oliva: le stime ufficiali parlano di raccolta a -35%. Buone notizie dall'export (sorry only in italian)
07-11-2014: Spain: ASAJA estima la cosecha de aceite de oliva en 750.000 toneladas (sorry only in spanish)
07-11-2014: Spain: IRRIGAOLIVO: La gestión del riego sostenible en el cultivo del olivo (sorry only in spanish)
06-11-2014: California Olive Ranch Negotiating to Buy Importer Lucini
06-11-2014: Spain: Se estudian nuevos coadyuvantes en el aceite de oliva (sorry only in spanish)
06-11-2014: Italy: Campagna olivicola, scatta il piano sicurezza sul territorio comunale (sorry only in italian)
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