The Olive Oil Sector
Historically, the production of olive oil is bounded to the Mediterranean geography because it is known that olive trees crop best under the climatic conditions found between the latitudes of 30 and 45 degrees north and south of the equator.
Today around 95% of the world’s olive groves are concentrated in the Mediterranean Basin, with Portugal responsible for only 1.5% of the world’s production behind countries like Spain (36.5%), Italy (19.7%), Greece (16.3%), Tunisia (7.7%), Turkey (4.4%), Syria (3.8%) and Morocco (2.5%).
Following a generalized trend, the consumption of olive oil in Portugal has been increasing, reflecting the belief in scientific research results which connected the regular consumption of olive oil with the maintenance of a good health condition.
Olive oil consumption in the European Union represents 70% of total world consumption. Increased consumption is also occurring amongst untraditional olive oil consumer countries like the USA where a five-fold rise in the last 16 years now ranks this country as the fourth largest olive oil consumer in the world.
The main exporting countries are, naturally, the main producers. The main exporting countries are, naturally, the main producers. Average exports figures over the last three years are topped by the European Union with 50.6%, and Tunisia with 32.9%.
Amongst main importing countries, the “new consumers” of olive oil include the USA (30.8%), Brazil (5.3%), Australia (4.5%), Canada (3.7%) and Japan (3.6%), which together account for nearly half of all imports worldwide.
Portugal is, by tradition, an exporting country, with Brazil absorbing close to 70% of the country’s olive oil export. Approximately half of the olive oil (olive) consumed in Portugal is imported.
In Portugal, Herdade do Esporão alone accounts for the processing of 5 million kilos of olives collected in the best groves of the Alentejo region as well as for the production of more than 800 thousand litres of olive oil, while investing in innovation and committed to deliver a high-quality product that is 100% Portuguese and genuinely natural.
Source: COI and INE