A report by the European Commission predicts that olive oil exports from the European Union (E.U.) will reach record levels for the current 2018/2019 season. The E.U. the world’s leading olive oil producer, with Spain being its largest producer by far, followed by Italy and Greece as well as the world’s biggest exporter of olive oil with 625,000 tons this year –of which 200,000 tons go to the USA- out of 2,000,000 tons produced.
The extreme weather patterns experienced in some parts of Europe in late 2018 in the form of abnormal snowfall, high winds, heavy rainfall and flooding have been blamed for the poor olive harvest in Greece and a record low in olive yields in Italy. It is thanks to Spain’s good harvest of 1.7 million tons of olive oil in 2018/2019 that the E.U.’s production figures are up.
The E.U. is also the world’s biggest consumer of olive oil: E.U. citizens consume between 1.5 and 1.6 million tons of olive oil a year, or about 3 liters per capita annually. Spain and Italy, who lead global life expectancy charts, (https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-basics/spain-tops-list-of-worlds-healthiest-countries/67069), consume 10-12 liters per person, while Greeks leads the world with 20 liters per year.
SOURCE European Commission