`Rising Demand for Virgin Olive Oils Drives Imports in Brazil - Olive Oil Times

Rising Demand for Virgin Olive Oils Drives Imports in Brazil

By Paolo DeAndreis
Jun. 16, 2021 13:09 UTC

Olive oil and table olive imports to Brazil con­tinue to rise, fur­ther estab­lish­ing Latin America’s largest coun­try as an impor­tant mar­ket for both prod­ucts.

According to the lat­est data from the International Olive Council, in the first five months of the 2020/21 fis­cal year – between October and February – Brazil imported 11-per­cent more olive oil and olive pomace oil than the pre­vi­ous year, up to 11,052 tons from the pre­vi­ous 8,330 tons.

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IOC data shows that eight per­cent of all olive oil exports are des­tined for Brazil. Only the United States and European Union import more.

Furthermore, ship­ments of vir­gin’ and extra vir­gin’ olive oil to Brazil are fuel­ing the country’s ris­ing imports, quickly out­pac­ing those of non-vir­gin olive oils and olive pomace oil, which remain largely unchanged.

Since Brazilian imports began their steady increase in 2015/16, vir­gin and extra vir­gin olive oil ship­ments to Brazil have risen by 113 per­cent. Total olive oil and olive pomace oil imports only grew by 81 per­cent.

Brazil has a repressed demand for good qual­ity prod­ucts, and when­ever the econ­omy is good, peo­ple will buy more of those, regard­less of the ori­gin,” Sandro Marques, an expert on the Brazilian olive oil mar­ket, told Olive Oil Times in a 2018 inter­view.

However, not all con­sumers that buy imported olive oil can afford Brazilian olive oil, which is usu­ally at least 50 per­cent more expen­sive than a typ­i­cal imported oil,” he added.

As olive oil imports to Brazil con­tinue to rise, the country’s main trad­ing part­ners have remained mainly the same. Portugal remains Brazil’s lead­ing trad­ing part­ner, export­ing a record 69,211 tons across the Atlantic in 2019/20, rep­re­sent­ing roughly two-thirds of all olive oil ship­ments to the coun­try.

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Furthermore, vol­umes of olive oil shipped from Portugal to Brazil have been grow­ing over the years more than those of any other pro­duc­ing coun­tries.

In the 2013/14 fis­cal year, Portuguese olive oil accounted for slightly less than 59 per­cent of exports at 43,073 tons. That fig­ure has since risen to 66 per­cent.

Spain, Argentina and Chile remain the next largest exporters to Brazil, with ship­ments from Spain and Argentina hit­ting record-highs in 2019/20.

Oils from major pro­duc­ers, includ­ing Italy, Tunisia and Greece, con­tinue to make up a much smaller frac­tion of Brazilian imports. However, ship­ments from both Italy and Tunisia also hit record highs in 2019/20.

Meanwhile, table olive imports to Brazil have increased even more rapidly over the same time period, ris­ing from 9,890 tons in 2019/20 to 14,700 tons in 2020/21, an increase of 21 per­cent.

These fig­ures indi­cate that Brazil is the des­ti­na­tion of 18.7 per­cent of the world’s table olive ship­ments. Argentina, Egypt and Peru remain the largest sup­pli­ers of table olives to Brazil.

However, com­pli­ca­tions aris­ing from the Covid-19 pan­demic along with a poor har­vest saw imports from Argentina fall for a third con­sec­u­tive year. Exports from Egypt and Peru remain mostly steady.


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