Monthly Archives: July 2017

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    China has initiated consuming olive oil and boosts the world’s production

    After two historical years of imports where China purchased 46.000 tonnes during the 2011/2012 season, purchases dropped up to 35,000 tonnes for the biennium 2013/2015. The 2015/2016 period was a recovery period with an increase of 12% and purchases of more than 40,000 tonnes, while during the first seven months of the 2016/2017 season, the increase amounted to around 17%, which is a historic record of purchasers from overseas, according to figures from the International Olive Council (IOC).

    With the latest available data from the 2015/2016 period, Spain took up 80% of the sales with more than 32,100 tonnes, followed by Italy with 13% with a little more than 4,000 tonnes; Greece with 2%, around 800 tonnes and with a little more than 2.000 tonnes; and 5% shared between Australia, Tunisia, Morocco and Turkey, in that order. 77% of the sales correspond to extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil, followed by olive pomace oil by 14%, while the remaining 9% corresponds to refined olive oil.

    In general, the Chinese climate is not Mediterranean; winters are often cold and dry and summers are rainy, therefore most part of their lands are not particularly suitable for the olive groves’ cultivation

    However, some of their highest surfaces such as Sichuan have mild temperatures during winter and more hours of sunshine, so cultivation of certain varieties such as Arbequina, Arbosana or Koreneiki, of international acceptance, are suitable for these areas. Harvests take place in September, two months in advance compared to the average of the northern hemisphere, which gives a certain competitive edge.

    Already in the Mao Zedong era, China encouraged the olive tree as a social cultivation, thanks to the exchange of experiences with other communist regime such as the Albania of Enver Hoxha’s time. Currently, there are nearly 70,000 hectares of olive trees and a production in the last season of 5,000 tonnes, similar to that of France or Cyprus that, according to projections, will exceed 6,000 tonnes during the following season.

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    After two historical years of imports where China purchased 46.000 tonnes during the 2011/2012 season, purchases dropped up to 35,000 tonnes for the biennium 2013/2015. The 2015/2016 period was a recovery period with an increase of 12% and purchases of more than 40,000 tonnes,... 
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  • The first case of the destructive bacterium Xylella fastidiosa in Spain

    After destroying entire olive groves in Italy and last year appearing in the Balearic Islands, the first case of the destructive bacterium Xylella fastidiosa has been confirmed on mainland Spain, making farmers worry in the land where olive oil is liquid gold.

    “Clearly, we are not going to be able to stop this; it’s a question of time before it reaches us,” said Luis Carlos Valero, leader of the ASAJA farmers’ union in Jaén, after the plague was confirmed as having been detected in Alicante last week.

    The fact that the first affected plant on the mainland was an almond tree is no consolation for olive growers; more than 300 European plant species have proved to be susceptible to Xylella.

    Xylella fastidiosa

    In Italy around a million trees are reported to have been killed by ‘olive quick decline syndrome’ after being attacked by bacteria that can be carried by various common meadow insects.

    In Spain, which has 350 million trees and where half of the world’s olive oil is produced, industry representatives fear the impact could be catastrophic.

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    After destroying entire olive groves in Italy and last year appearing in the Balearic Islands, the first case of the destructive bacterium Xylella fastidiosa has been confirmed on mainland Spain, making farmers worry in the land where olive oil is liquid gold. “Clearly, we... 
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