Argentina: Olive Oil & Olive Cultivation review

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Argentina olive oil production

Argentina now has more than 100,000 hectares of modern olive groves for oil extraction. They have genetic plantations from the best nurseries in the world, armed cadres monovarietal 250-330 plants / ha and pressurized irrigation. Added to this two major advantages to the counter and the ability to produce increasing volumes of high quality virgin oils that may be classified by variety. The country produces low cost high quality olive oils and is definitely shaping up as one of the next global market leaders.

For the year 2010, when the entire area planted in late 2000 enter into production, the country could produce between 45,000 and 50,000 tons. olive oil. Moreover, the potential production of Argentina could reach 200,000 tons. olive oil.

Domestic production has 2 major advantages to the counter and the ability to produce large quantities of virgin oil of excellent quality that will be classified by variety.

Argentina would become the main oil production center outside the varietal source areas for them. In particular: Arbequina, Coratina, Barnea, Picual and Frantoio.

The increased production and changing the fate of the oil produced changes in the qualities of the oil produced: there is a clear trend towards the production of fruity extra virgin olive oils and varietals.

From IOC Newsletter:
Argentina joined the ranks of the IOC Members three years ago. Since it will be hosting the 18th extraordinary session of the Council in Buenos Aires from 2 to 6 July 2012, this month’s issue of the newsletter focuses on olive growing in this Latin American country.

Argentina offers excellent natural conditions for the development of olive cultivation. Two yardsticks can be used to measure its potential: the exponential growth in the number of advanced genetics trees and the growth in Argentine exports, particularly to the two key markets of the United States and Brazil. The Argentine olive industry saw a revival in the 1990s when new orchards were established with a range of varieties.

Olives are cultivated on more than 100 000 ha of land, concentrated in the tree regions-55 000 ha in the North-West region (provinces of Catamarca, La Rioja); over 9 500 ha in the Central region (provinces of Cordoba and Buenos Aires); and 40 000 ha in the Central-West region (provinces of Mendoza and San Juan) with 40 000 ha- which have been joined recently by Neuquen. The bulk of the olive produced in Argentina is extra virgin grade. The industry provides direct employment for more than 15 000 people and an estimated 45 000 indirect jobs.

Graph I shows how production, consumption, imports and exports have evolved over the last 20 years. Olive oil production has risen sharply in the last ten seasons (2000/01-2010/11)* albeit more in relative terms than absolute terms (+275%=+11 000 t). However, in the last four crop years it has not managed to top the level recorded in 2007/08 (27 000 t). Exports have shot up by 175% in the last decade. The main destinations are the United States (50% of all Argentine exports), followed by Brazil (40%) and Uruguay and Chile. Eighty percent of exports are of bulk product while the remaining 20% is packed. Consumption has dropped by 17% over the last 10 crop years. This decrease expands to 39% when the averages for the last two decades are compared.

Table olive production has also experienced constant growth, rising from 30 000 t in 2000/01 to 250 000 t in 2010/11. According to industry sources, this increase can be attributed to the entry into crop production of new orchards established in the 1990s. Brazil is the top destination, followed by the United States. Others noteworthy destinations for Argentine table olive exports are Venezuela, Canada, Uruguay and Chile. Table olive consumption has soared by 180% in the last 10 years, rising from 12 500 t in 2000/01 to 35 000 t in 2010/11, moving in the opposite direction to olive oil consumption.

Scrutiny of the developments in the both branches of the industry reveals that the downturn in olive oil production as of 2008/09 can very probably be explained in part by orchard conversion to production for table olives.

source International Olive Council


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