Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food reported that olive oil production in Spain reached 1.77 million tons through March of the 2018/19 campaign, an increase of 43 percent compared with the same period in the previous campaign.

Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food has reported that olive oil production reached 1.77 million tons for the first half of the 2018/19 campaign — a record figure.

This marks a 43-percent increase for the same period in 2017/18 and 49-percent higher than the average yields of the last four campaigns.

The 2018/19 campaign has been prolific in Spain in other aspects as well.

Domestic and international sales have already reached 753,300 tons, an 18-percent increase from last year’s figures over the same period. Average monthly sales for the first half of the 2018/19 olive campaign have reached about 125,550 tons.

Provisional data for March also estimated that 485,400 tons of olive oil have already been exported, a 24-percent increase over last year. March alone had a very positive performance as exports were 50-percent greater than those of March 2018.

However, the potential for tariffs on European Union olive oil exports to the United States could dampen these figures moving forward. Last year, Spain exported 35,323 tons of olive oil to the U.S. and many in the sector were hoping to increase this market share in light of poor harvests in other competitor countries.

On the domestic front, Spanish olive oil producers increased their sales, having sold 267,960 tons, which represents a nine-percent increase over last year’s figures and is three-percent higher than the average of the past four years.

Average monthly sales for the domestic market have been 44,650 tons for the first half of the year. This good performance has led to many producers selling some of their stock, which they expect to increase by 48 percent compared with last year due to the good harvest.

Spain is expected to make up 75 percent of the European Union’s olive production and 50 percent of the global production this year, compensating the decreases other top olive producing countries in the European Union experienced.

Andalusia, Castilla La Mancha and Extremadura were the top three producing provinces in Spain.

Recently, the European Commission expressed its concern for the significant decrease of olive oil prices despite a rather stable production for the 2018/19 olive campaign. Due to this, the Commission will monitor the prices of olive oil in Spain and other member countries.

Although prices in Spain are below average international olive oil rates, they have remained rather stable in the last few weeks.

Production of table olives increased by four-percent in 2018/19 in comparison to last year’s numbers, but have experienced a slight decrease in sales, due mostly to lower sales in the domestic market.

Total sales of table olives within Spain have gone down three-percent with respect to those of last year.