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Spain, the World’s Leading Producer of Olive Oil

Spain, the World’s Leading Producer of Olive Oil

Spanish Olive Oil.

Olive oil had the distinction of being one of the most widely consumed and most produced vegetable or cooking oils across the globe for several centuries. Ancient Greeks used to describe the oil as “the liquid gold”. The olive oil produced in Spain is regarded as a healthy and luxury ingredient used in hygiene products, cosmetics, and food these days.

The olive oil industry of Spain has been dominating as it is not only is the biggest olive oil producer but is also the highest exporter of oil. Italy, Morocco, Tunisia, and Greece are the other largest producers of olive oil. However, these four nations together produce only 50 percent of the total olives cultivated in Spain every year. Historically, Spain has been the top market for the olive oil sector.

According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Spain contributes to more than 56 percent of the entire olive production in the world. The country has been engaged in the production of olive oil even before the Romans dominated over them.

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Production of Olive Oil in Spain

As is evident, Spain is the leading olive oil producer in the world. The massive olive oil production and its large export market can be attributed to the conducive weather condition and expansive olive cultivated area. The country’s olive cultivated area is over 25 percent of the olive-growing area of the world. It also means that approximately 2.6 million hectares of land are used for growing olives in the country. Spain’s annual production of oil is about 5.3 million metric tons. It has led to producing up to more than one million tons of olive oil annually.

The olive oil industry of the country represents 5 percent of its agri-food sector. Spain had emerged as the most competitive and largest player in the worldwide olive oil market. It produces more than 260 varieties of olive. Today, the olive oil industry of Spain consists of 1,570 olive oil organizations. Its sales are divided into half between the domestic and international market.

Where is Olive Oil Produced in Spain?

The Andalucian region is where most of the olive oil production is concentrated around. Around 3/4th of the entire olive oil production in Spain is based in this region. The major varieties of olive cultivated in this area are Picudo, Lechin, Verdial, Picual, and Hojiblanca. Some other well-known olive oil and olive-producing areas in Spain are Extremadura, Castilla – La Mancha, Valencia, Aragon, and Catalonia, among others.

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Spain’s Olive Oil Exports

Spain is also the largest explorer of olive oil in the world, apart from being the leading producer of this oil. The country exports its products to over 180 nations around the globe, both in packaged and bulk. The data also indicated that the olive oil produced in Spain is being extensively acknowledged among the finest olive oil products. According to statistics shared by ITC, Spain exported more than 3.5 billion USD worth/917,804 tons of oil to the international market in 2016. The figure represented almost 50 percent of the total exports of olive exports of the world in that particular year. Spain mainly exports its olive oil to countries such as the United States of America, Portugal, France, China, Australia, the United Kingdom, and even to Italy.

The country’s leading position in the international olive oil market has drawn a large number of traders and buyers from different parts of the globe for sourcing the most lucrative business deals. Olive bottles and producers of Spain have invested in various innovative technologies ranging from the latest machinery to new harvesting practices. These new practices aim to slam the perception that the quality of the Italian olive oil is the best. The goal is also to make sure that the extra virgin olive oils of Spain are among the finest in the globe.

Spain produces hundreds of varieties of olives. However, the most common types are Cornicabra, Arbequina, and Picual.

Everything You Need to Know About Spanish Olive Oil | Devour Madrid
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