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History of olive tree
World Production and Market
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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
20-10-2014: Croatian Olive Growers Face a Disappointing Harvest
20-10-2014: Italy: Troppo caldo. Un disastro la raccolta delle olive in Sicilia nel 2014 (sorry only in italian)
20-10-2014: Argentina: El Gobierno quiere potenciar la industria olivícola en Mendoza (sorry only in spanish)
20-10-2014: Tunisia: Sfax : une récolte exceptionnelle des oliviers et d’huile d’olive (sorry only in french)
20-10-2014: I cinesi non si limiteranno ad appiccicare Made in Italy sulle “loro” bottiglie d'olio d'oliva (sorry only in italian)
17-10-2014: Dcoop acquires Cargill’s shares in Mercaoleo, their Spanish olive oil joint venture
16-10-2014: La Turchia si candida come seconda forza olivicola del mediterraneo (sorry only in italian)
16-10-2014: Morroco: Meknès célèbre l’olivier de la Méditerranée (sorry only in french)
14-10-2014: Groups Work to Improve Viability of Table Olives in Andalusia
14-10-2014: Spain: Las exportaciones de aceite de oliva en julio se incrementan un 39% (sorry only in spanish)
10-10-2014: California’s Olive Oil Time Warp
09-10-2014: Texas’s Olive Oil Boom
08-10-2014: Chinese Co. Buys Majority Stake in Filippo Berio Producer
08-10-2014: Half the Spanish Olive Oil This Year, Twice the Greek as Prices Climb
08-10-2014: Turkey needs strategy to market its rapidly growing olive oil output
08-10-2014: Italy: L'Università di Pisa brevetta nuovo metodo di estrazione dell'olio extravergine (sorry only in italian)
08-10-2014: Le chinois Bright Food investit dans l'huile d'olive en Italie (sorry only in french)
08-10-2014: Nuevo método de extracción del aceite de oliva virgen extra con dióxido de carbono (sorry only in spanish)
07-10-2014: Italian Farmers’ Organization Backs Olive Oil Quality Register
07-10-2014: La producción de aceite de oliva en Grecia rondará las 275.000 toneladas (sorry only in spanish)
02-10-2014: Spain: La reducción de costes en la elaboración de aceites de oliva (sorry only in spanish)
01-10-2014: Spain: Nuevas tecnologías para controlar las plagas de la mosca del olivo (sorry only in spanish)
01-10-2014: Spain: Las exportaciones de aceite de oliva superan ya el millón de toneladas en la campaña 2013/2014 (sorry only in spanish)
01-10-2014: Chile and South America Advance at Olive Oil Industry
01-10-2014: The outlook of the olive oil production in the Mediterranean basin
01-10-2014: Spain: Deoleo fomentará la investigación y la innovación en el aceite de oliva (sorry only in spanish)
30-09-2014: New Phenolic Compounds Unveiled at Harvard Conference
30-09-2014: Exports of Spanish olive oil reaches one million tons
30-09-2014: In India encouraging results in the production of olive oil
30-09-2014: Spain: Infaoliva estime que toute l'huile d'olive sera vendue avant la fin de la campagne 2014/15 (sorry only in spanish)
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