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21 June 2012

Olive oil production by country

Hectares of olive tree plantations as far as the eye can see en route to Sfax.

I have just returned from a brief visit to Sfax which is a coastal city in Southern Tunisia.  It was not a touristic visit hence the reason why I have not included any information about the city itself.  It was an overnight stay and I did not have any time for sightseeing. 


As always,  what impressed me the most on the drive from Tunis - Sfax - Tunis were the hectares and hectares of olive tree plantations which go on for kilometres on either side of the road (motorway).  It made me wonder where Tunisia was placed on the world ranking scale when it came to olive oil production by country.  I thought these hectares which go on for kilometres and kilometres must count for something. I also thought that the end product cannot just be for the local market it must also be sold in the global market place as well.

When we think of olive oil production and the countries involved, we tend to think of Spain, Italy and Greece and these countries are of course the three major producers.  However, I was heartened to see that in the table below which has the data from 2010, Tunisia comes 7th place in the top ten.

Global market
The main producing and consuming countries are:
CountryProduction in tons (2010)Production % (2010)Consumption (2005)Annual per capita consumption (kg)
World3,269,249100%100%0.43
Spain1,487,00045.5%20%13.62
Italy548,50016.8%30%12.35
Greece352,80010.8%9%23.7
Syria177,4005.4%3%7
Morocco169,9005.2%2%11.1
Turkey161,6004.9%2%1.2
Tunisia160,1004.9%2%5
Portugal66,6002.0%2%1.8
Algeria33,6001.0%2%7.1
Others111,7493.3%18%1.

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