DG AGRI: Greece the only one with an increase in oil production this year – it will surpass Spain & Italy
Greece will be the only country not to see a reduction in olive oil production this autumn according to the recent short-term outlook report on the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on European agricultural markets, issued by the EU’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development ( DG AGRI) on 5 October.
This report by the EU’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) provides forecasts for the production of the following sectors: a) arable crops, b) specialty crops, d) milk and milk products and e) meat products. At the same time, he came to the conclusion that in general European agricultural markets remain stable despite the extremely high temperatures of this summer, the fires in most European countries and the food crisis that has affected the agri-food sector of the Union at various levels.
However, the production of olive oil is of particular interest, especially for Greece. According to the report, Greece will be the only country that will not see a decrease in its production despite the unprecedented climate difficulties. The report of the General Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development typically states that European olive oil production is expected to decrease by 25% in most member states of the European Union with the sole exception of Greece. In fact, in some countries such as Spain and Italy, this percentage of production decline may reach up to 30%, according to the forecasts of DG AGRI for the autumn of 2022.
Our country together with Italy and Spain are the three main producers and exporters of olive oil in the European Union. If these two countries show a decrease in their production, as predicted by a report of the General Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development of the EU, Greece will soon be called upon to cover the “vacuum” in the oil market. This has a double meaning. On the one hand, it is going to bring greater financial burdens on the Greek olive producers, but also pressures to meet the needs of the market. On the other hand, it also creates a window of opportunity to strengthen the Greek presence in the oil trade within and outside the EU.
In Greece, olive producers are moderately optimistic due to a lack of labor. Already at the end of August there were reports of an increase in olive oil production in all regions of Greece, with estimates speaking of an increase of up to 40% compared to last year (227,000t), which created great expectations. However, many olive-producing regions of the country, according to Greek media, are facing a severe labor shortage ahead of this year’s olive harvest with many olive growers fearing their production will “stay on the trees”.
At the level of the European Union, however, according to the estimates of the short-term perspective report, olive oil production for the period 2022/23 can only reach 1.7 million tons. That means 25% below last year and 20% below the five-year average. Despite the high ending stocks of the previous period (625000t) even initial availability in 2022/23 could be the lowest compared to the previous five marketing periods.
So, it remains to be seen at the end of the harvest if Greece will meet the EU estimates for increased oil production based on the given conditions and challenges.
You can read the entire report here.