` India’s Olive Oil Imports Up By Half - Olive Oil Times

India’s Olive Oil Imports Up By Half

Aug. 13, 2012
Vikas Vij

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India imported 5,938 met­ric tons of olive oil in 2011, mostly from Italy and Spain, com­pared to 3,988 met­ric tons dur­ing the period in 2010, accord­ing to cus­toms data.

While that amounted to a 49 per­cent increase over the pre­vi­ous year, it is still an extremely small amount of olive oil for a coun­try of one and a quar­ter bil­lion peo­ple.

Most of the growth was for olive pomace oil — the low­est edi­ble grade of oil made from olives — which jumped by 131 per­cent dur­ing the period.

Italy and Spain together accounted for more than 90 per­cent of India’s olive oil imports. Turkey is the third largest sup­plier account­ing for around 5 to 10 per­cent. Accurate fig­ures for imports from Turkey were not yet avail­able.

Spain accounted for 56 per­cent, while Italy accounted for 44 per­cent — imports from other notable olive oil export­ing coun­tries such as Greece, Syria and Tunisia are almost non-exis­tent in India.

Virgin olive oil imports increased by 26 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous year.

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The Crop Year data, a stan­dard fol­lowed by the International Olive Council (IOC), showed that imports from Italy and Spain grew by 63 per­cent. In absolute terms, the vol­ume of imports increased from 3,175 met­ric tons in 2010 to 5,182 met­ric tons in 2011.

The Indian Olive Association (IOA) has said that two major pro­mo­tional cam­paigns to increase aware­ness about olive oil were under­way, financed by the EU and key exporters Italy and Spain.

The IOA said: The major chal­lenge in India is that the trade stan­dards for olive oil under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 are out­dated and mis­aligned with the trade stan­dards of the rest of the world rep­re­sented by Codex as well as the trade stan­dards of IOC. IOA has been pur­su­ing the issue vig­or­ously with the gov­ern­ment.”



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