Which nations consume and produce the most olive oil?

If you are interested in something about olive oil, you might be curious to know which countries consume the most. According to Unaprol (Italian Olive Consortium), Greece, Spain and Italy rank first in world olive oil consumption. Furthermore, Portugal, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia are among the largest consumers and producers.

But what is the situation in the rest of the world? Here we examine the most common uses of olive oil.

The demand for olive oil is on the rise, especially in Europe. The European Union forecasts an increase in consumption of 400,000 tons by 2030, driven by the change in the eating habits of European consumers, increasingly attentive to health and environmental issues. New flavors of olive oil are being produced and the market is showing signs of expansion. In addition to the conventional variants, the oil is gaining popularity in the food and beverage industry. This represents enormous potential for suppliers from underdeveloped countries.

Mediterranean countries produce more olive oil

Several Mediterranean nations produce olive oil, with Spain accounting for more than fifty percent of the global total. Greece, Italy and Portugal both produce olive oil, with Portugal producing the most. Greece has the highest per capita consumption, while Italy is among the best producers of extra virgin olive oil. The composition of olive oil depends on the cultivar, the altitude, the harvest period and the extraction method. To be considered extra virgin, the oil must have a free acidity of 0.8% or less, which contributes to its pleasant taste.

Greece is the largest consumer of olive oil

Olive oil is practically a religion in Greece and its per capita consumption is among the highest in the world. Indeed, Greece consumes over 20 liters per person per year, while the world average is around 13 liters per person. Crete is the largest consumer, with over 30 liters per capita. This consumption of olive oil indicates the growing popularity of Mediterranean cuisine in the country.

In Greece, olive oil production has been declining for the past three years, a trend that is expected to continue for several more years. However, producers are confident that the current quality of Greek olive oil is unmatched. As a result, extra virgin olive oil production and the size of the olive sector have decreased. Nonetheless, Greek consumers continue to be extremely satisfied with the quality of extra virgin olive oil.

France is the main importer of olive oil

In 2018, France imported more than 1.2 million tons of olive oil. This is the third share of the total imports of the European Union. However, French olive oil production is insufficient to meet demand. Consequently, he is an importer. In 2020, France was the EU’s third largest importer of olive oil.

The United States is one of the largest consumers of olive oil in the world.

But what role do they play as producers of quality olive oil?

Since 2015, olive oil and extra virgin olive oil production has increased dramatically on the West Coast, particularly in California, where olive plantations and therefore olive oil and extra virgin olive oil production are in first place.

Spain is the leading producer of olive oil

The olive oil sector in Spain accounts for 5% of the country’s agribusiness economy. The nation produces more than 260 varieties of olives, which are sold both domestically and overseas. It is one of the leading olive oil producers in the world.

With over one million olive trees, a solid export market and a strong domestic economy, the olive oil sector is one of the most prosperous industries in the country.

The Spanish olive oil industry is worth many billions of dollars. It exports to over 180 countries and represents 5% of the Spanish agri-food sector. This industry includes about 1,500 companies and exports about 50% of the olive oil. Spain exports olive oil to many countries, including the United States and even Portugal.

Italy is once again the second world producer.

Calabria and Puglia are the provinces that produce the most oil in Italy.

More than 350 varieties of olives are produced in Italy, each of which produces a particular oil.

Italy is back on the second step of the podium in olive production for the 2021/2022 season. According to the official estimates of the International Olive Council, Unaprol (Italian Olive Consortium).