Global olive oil production is expected to drop 5.5% in the 2018/19 harvest season, according to figures from the International Olive Council (IOC), Olive Oil Times reports.

The IOC data showed that its member nations and some non-IOC members would produce 3.13M tonnes this crop year, compared with 3.314M tonnes last year. However, this crop year’s olive oil yield was higher than both 2016/17 and 2014/15 yields.

Tunisia and Argentina saw the largest decreases in this year’s harvest, with falls of 57% and 54% respectively. Production also fell 49% in Palestine; 38% in Italy; 35% in Greece and 30% in Turkey.

The Italian farmers’ association, Coldiretti, said that bad weather was to blame for the drop, claiming that about 25M olive trees in Italy were damaged. Despite this, Italy still remained the second highest producer of olive oil after Spain.

Olive oil production estimates for the 2018/19 crop year in Spain was around 1.6M tonnes, a 27% increase compared with 2017/18 and the highest level of production since 2013/14.

In Turkey, olive oil production continued to trend upwards with this crop year’s harvest being 3% higher than in 2016/17, the Olive Oil Times report said.

Some countries had registered notable rises in production, the IOC figures showed. Libya saw production rising 41% and Morocco, 4%.

Both countries had been investing in olive oil production since new markets had opened up in East Asia and Mediterranean production had suffered from weather and disease, wrote Olive Oil Times.