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05/09/2017 - 18:56hs

Tunisia sees olive oil output going up by 20% to 30%

The country’s 2017/2018 crop season begins in November and the government forecasts that production will be higher than in the past two seasons.

Tunis – The government of Tunisia estimates that olive oil output will be up by 20% to 30% in the 2017/2018 crop season, which begins in November, from the past two seasons, Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) quoted the the chairman and CEO of the National Olive Oil Department (ONH, in the French acronym), Chkori Bayoudh, as saying this Tuesday (5).

Fethi Belaid/AFP-22/12/2007

Tunisians work in olive oil manufacturing

According to him, the olive oil harvest will exceed the average from the last five years, which was 190,000 tons. More exact forecasts will only be made public in October, once the rainy season begins.

Bayoudh said the Tunisian product will increase its share in new markets such as Canada, the United States, China, Russia and India, while reducing its reliance on usual European markets like Spain and Italy.

Tunisia’s minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fishing, Samir Tayeb, said olive oil exports play a key in the country’s development and as a source of revenue.

TAP said olive oil exports averaged at 45,000 tons per year in the past ten years, which means 80% of total production. Revenue averaged at TND 850 million (USD 348 million) per year.

“[Year-to-date] through July 2017, 71,617 tons of olive oil were exported, grossing TND 679.3 million (USD 278 million), down from 78,336 tons and TND 590.5 million (USD 242 million) a year ago,” TAP quoted the minister as saying.

Tunisia has the second biggest planted area for olive trees in the world, at 1.8 million hectares and over 86 million trees and trailing only Spain, according to TAP.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, there are roughly 309,000 olive oil farming industry players in the country, which account for a combined 60% of all national farms.


Tunisia exported over USD 1 million worth of olive oil through August this year, up 2% year-on-year, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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