Tunisia’s olive oil production is estimated at 100 thousand tons this season, down over 55%, compared to the national average of 180 Thousand tons).
The reasons for this decline are mainly the drought recorded last year which had a direct impact on production, Chokri Bayoudh, CEO of the National Oil Office (ONH), said in an interview with TAP news agency Wednesday.
“80% of the domestic olive oil production comes mainly from the irrigated sector, which saved this campaign that started in November 2016 and is expected to be completed by the end of January 2017,” he said.
The export of olive oil, which also started in November 2016 and reached 15 thousand tons until mid-December 2016, has also declined. “The forecast for exports is of nearly 70 thousand tons for the entire 2016/2017 season, with revenues of up to 60 million dinars.
Tunisia had produced 340 thousand tons during the 2014/2015 season and was the world’s top olive exporting country and second producing country in the world after Spain, he pointed out.
The country is also the second largest exporter to the European Union and ranks fourth among olive oil producing countries.
Concerning packaged olive oil, ONH’s CEO said that Tunisia currently exports 20 thousand tons of packaged oil, while ten years earlier it exports only 2 thousand tons.