According to agricultural forecasts by the National Statistics Institute (INE), with the olive harvest “almost complete”, the “scenarios are regionally heterogeneous”, although “in general, at the beginning of the cycle, and after a good flowering”, the setting was not “in the best conditions” and the initial fruit load was lower than the previous season.
Even so, in the northern and central interior, the rainfall that occurred towards the end of the production cycle of the olive groves led to an increase in the size of the olives, allowing for a recovery in many traditional dryland olive groves.
In the Alentejo, on the contrary, a region where modern irrigated olive groves have a very significant weight (with precipitation influencing final production much less), “it was the initial conditions, namely the setting that determined the evolution of the season, less productive than the previous one”.
“Overall, a 25 percent decrease in olive oil production is estimated” says INE, pointing out that, despite the olive oil yield (funda) being lower than the previous year, “the final product presents organoleptic and chemical quality within normal parameters.”
Despite the expected decrease, olive production “remains at quite high levels”, expected to be “the sixth highest of the last 80 campaigns” and “continuing to clearly evidence the phenomenon of harvest/contra-season (manifestation of annual production alternation)”.