#Olive trees are coming into bloom across the Mediterranean over the next few weeks. As the new season kicks off, it’s a good time to calibrate expectations for the year to come. The 2021-2031 EU Agricultural Outlook forecast #oliveoil production would grow by about 20% in the next decade. However, in 2022/23 there was a record-low harvest of 1.4 million tons (-39% year-on-year) due to hot and dry weather.

So far weather conditions indicate 2023/24 may be another difficult season. The March JRC MARS Bulletin has identified a severe rain deficit in southern #Spain and #Portugal, where most of the world’s olives are grown. Additionally, the number of winter cold days from December to February, essential for high olive yields, was 40% lower than average in parts of the Iberian Peninsula and large parts of #Italy.

Unlike the previous two medium-term outlooks, the latest does not forecast olive oil production. Perhaps it’s because more extreme weather is making future yields less certain. Climate change is putting increasing financial strain on the industry. As the spring 2023 short-term outlook notes, lower olive oil stocks combined with high input costs for farmers and processors have led to 85% higher producer prices in Spain compared to the five-year average.

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