TUNISIA – The olive industry in Tunisia, the world’s leading exporter of olive oil outside the EU, is expected to earn up to 3 billion dinars (US$957 million) from its olive oil shipments in 2022/2023.
Hamed Daly Hassen, general director of the National Oil Office (ONH) revealed the forecast while speaking to the media Mosaïque FM as cited by Ecofin Agency.
According to him, these forecasts, if they come true, would represent an increase of 36% compared to the 2.2 billion dinars (US$707 million) in revenue obtained during the previous financial year.
To reinforce his expectations, the official indicated that the value of Tunisian olive oil exports during the first 8 months of 2023 reached 2.7 billion dinars (US$861 million). This amount already reflects an increase of 22% compared to all export revenues from the previous campaign.
Being the world’s leading exporter of olive oil outside the EU, the local industry is on track to achieve its best export performance by the end of the 2022/2023 campaign despite the explosion of prices on the commodity since the start of the year.
“This is a record figure never recorded in the history of the country,” said Mr. Hassen
This growth in revenues for the olive industry is mainly due to an appreciation of olive oil prices on the international market against a backdrop of uncertainties in the supply of the commodity linked to the severe drought which is affecting several suppliers, including Spain which usually supplies 40% of the world supply.
From the beginning of the 2022/2023 campaign to the end of May 2023, the country’s olive oil export revenues grew by 36.9% to TND 2.1 billion.
According to data published by the National Observatory of Agriculture (ONAGRI), the revenue grew despite a 9.8% drop in the volume of exports (to 132.5 thousand tonnes).
The average price of olive oil during the first seven months of the 2022/2023 campaign increased by 52% compared to the same period of the previous campaign with a variation of 14 DT/kg to 20 DT/kg.
The extra-virgin category alone accounted for 89% of the total volume exported during the said period.
Last August, a ton of olive oil traded for around US$9,000 on the international market, twice as much as the price of US$4,247 posted a year earlier. It should be noted that in Tunisia the olive oil marketing campaign begins in November each year.