Drought, blight threaten to press up olive oil price

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“Everything indicates that the next harvest will be very close to the level of the one two years ago” which was just 618,000 tonnes, he warned.

Enrique Delgado Hidalgo, secretary general of Infaoliva, forecast that the harvest could be “between 800,000 and a million tonnes”.

“The harvest will be limited but sufficient to supply the domestic and international markets,” he said.

The Germany-based analysis institute Oil World gave a more optimistic forecast, estimating that Spain will produce between 900,000 and 1.1 million tonnes this coming harvest.

A price rise, meanwhile, would be “good news for producers”, who suffered losses when strong production last year drove prices down, said Thomas Mielke, director of Oil World.

In the life cycle of olive groves, “there is often a decline in production per tree after a year of strong production”, which will be aggravated this year in Spain by the drought, he said.

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