Olive oil is one of the most representative products of Spanish agri-food exports. This is demonstrated, by way of example, the following data:
Spain is the first world producer of olive oil, with an average annual production of 1,300,000 tons, reaching 1,848,000 in recent campaigns. With more than 300 million olive trees covering more than 2 million hectares, its cultivated area represents more than 25% of the world’s olive area.
Spain is also the first world exporting country, with an annual average in the last 5 years of some 850,000 tons exported, reaching 1,150,000 tons in 2014.
Spanish Olive Oil is exported to more than 180 countries on 5 continents, although its main markets vary according to export in bulk (exports mainly to European Union countries) or in packages of less than 5 liters, which are sold directly to consumers, restaurants, establishments and the best gourmet stores around the world:
Italy is the main market for Spanish olive oil in bulk, followed by the US, Portugal, United Kingdom, Japan and France.
Packaged Spanish olive oil is exported to the US, France, Portugal, United Kingdom, Australia and China as the main destinations.
Spain still exports a large percentage of its oil in bulk. However, packaging exports have increased their relevance dramatically, having tripled in the last 5 years and continuing their upward trend.
Spanish olive oil is subject to strict quality control. The producers themselves carry out analyzes in their own laboratories, and the Spanish authorities take samples of each batch and analyze them to verify that they all adapt to the quality requirements established by the European Union.
In Spain there are more than 260 olive varieties that give rise to both mono-varietal oils and mixtures that allow, as in large wines, to associate the qualities and complementary flavors of different varieties.
Olive oil production in Spain is distributed regionally as follows:
Castilla la Mancha (8%)
Rest of Spain (4%)