The heat and lack of rain halve oil production in the Ebro
The oil sector in Terres de l'Ebre, one of the most important and undoubtedly the most deeply rooted in the territory, has started its harvest this October. Baix Ebre and Montsià are the main olive oil producing area in Catalonia. However, this year the producers point out that it will not be a good year.
The summer heat and especially the high temperatures of the month of May, as well as the general lack of rainfall have knocked down the production this year by half.
The president of the Cooperativa Agrícola del Campo Santa Bárbara and also of the Regulatory Council of the DOP Baix Ebre-Montsià, Josep Lluís Cardona, explains in the Daily that the strong heat of May "was the worst", since it affected the flowering of the olive tree. Cardona places the fall this year at 70% compared to last year's campaign.
“Yes, there have been other bad years, but this year would be the second or third weakest in the last 40 years,” considers the president. «It is true that after some quite good years, the olive tree rests. The previous campaign was good. In addition to the summer heat, the drought has also joined and this has very negatively affected the olive and the production », he highlights.
The general director of Olivite Export, Pere Albacar, agrees on the drop in production. Olivite Export was born last year from the union of five agricultural cooperatives from the Terres de l'Ebre oil sector, which acquired the business unit of the Tortosa company Juan Ballester Rosés, Sucesores SA
“Less than 50% of a usual production is expected. The drop in production is general throughout Spain », he points out. Country that is the main producer of olive oil in the world. “This year we have had the perfect storm, many factors have coincided. The olive tree has a biannual production, one year it produces a lot, and in the other, little. Last year was a very high production and this year we have a very drastic drop, quite exceptional. This year there has been a lot of heat from May to here and water shortages due to the lack of rainfall.
Due to the high temperature of this month of October there is also quite a lot of olive fly.
President Cardona also explains that farmers are exposed to increased production costs. «We are on a ladder of increase of all kinds and it is worrying: water, diesel, electricity, cardboard, phytosanitary products... The low production and the increase in costs will raise the price of oil. But they will hardly make up for it."