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Italy’s olive oil production drops by a quarter as ‘tree leprosy’ takes toll

Italy’s southern orchards have been affected by hailstorms, drought and the Xylella bacteria

Italy, the world’s second-largest exporter of olive oil, has seen output drop by a quarter this year, an agricultural lobby said, due to bad weather and a deadly bacteria.

Italian production for 2020 is estimated at 270,000 tonnes, down 26% from 2019 due to a sharp drop in output in the southern Puglia region, which usually accounts for almost half of the country’s olive oil, the farming lobby Confagricoltura said in a statement on Friday.

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