` Council Predicts Dip in Olive Oil Consumption - Olive Oil Times

Council Predicts Dip in Olive Oil Consumption

Dec 6, 2012 9:31 AM EST
Julie Butler

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A slight reduc­tion in world olive oil con­sump­tion and a 20 per­cent fall in pro­duc­tion are the cur­rent fore­casts from the International Olive Council (IOC) for the 2012/13 sea­son.

According to updated but pro­vi­sional fig­ures pre­sented at the 40th meet­ing of the IOC Advisory Committee on Olive Oil and Table Olives, held on November 14 and 15, global con­sump­tion is expected to slip from about 3.2 mil­lion tons in 2010/11 to 3.1 mil­lion this sea­son.

Major pro­duc­ers Spain, Italy and Greece — each hard-hit by finan­cial cri­sis — are all fore­cast to see decline in domes­tic con­sump­tion. Of the world’s main olive oil con­sumers, Italy is expected to go from 724,500 tons to 695,000, Spain from 582,100 to 550,000, and Greece from 212,500 to 208,000. The United States, mean­while, is fore­cast to stay at 294,000 tons.

Consumption to out­strip demand, stocks to dwin­dle

Consumption is nev­er­the­less pre­dicted to exceed the expected 2.71 mil­lion tons in world pro­duc­tion this sea­son (October to September), down from 3.40 mil­lion in 2011/12.


While higher esti­mates of even up to 70 per­cent have been made lately by Spanish agri­cul­tural groups, the IOC esti­mates Spain’s har­vest this year — hum­bled by harsh weather after 3 bumper crops — will be down 49 per­cent on the pre­vi­ous crop year, to just 820,000 tons.

Declines are also expected in Morocco, from 120,000 to 110,000, Portugal from 76,200 to 68,600, and Argentina from 32,000 to 17,000 tons.

The world started the 2012/13 sea­son with 916,500 tons in car­ry­over stocks but will end it with only about 387,000 tons, the IOC believes.

Import growth in 2011/12

According to the IOC’s November mar­ket newslet­ter, pub­lished on December 5, olive oil and olive pomace oil imports in 2011/12 grew 38 per­cent in China, 21 per­cent in Japan, 15 per­cent in Russia, and 9 per­cent in Brazil and the US. There was a 1 per­cent decline in Canada.

Ex-mill prices

Compared with the same period a sea­son ear­lier, pro­ducer prices for extra vir­gin olive oil started to rise sharply in Spain in late June, reach­ing €2.64/kg by the sec­ond last week of September, the IOC newslet­ter says.

They then switched course in the last week of October, reach­ing €2.40/kg by the sec­ond last week of November. Although this rep­re­sents a 9 per­cent drop from the September peak, it is still 27 per­cent higher than a sea­son ear­lier.”

These price move­ments have to be viewed in a con­text where the esti­mates for 2012/13 are becom­ing more accu­rate as the har­vest moves for­ward. It must also be remem­bered that prices have been very low in Spain through the last two crop years and this increase brings them up to the level of March 2008.”

After ris­ing within the space of two months from €2.38/kg, in the first week of August, to €2.90/kg, in the first week of October, pro­ducer prices in Italy dropped sud­denly to an inter­me­di­ate level of €2.62/kg, but still up 3 per­cent on the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

In Greece, where prices have risen 15 per­cent over the last three months, the increase has been more even and slower, from €1.82/kg (late July) to €2.24/kg (sec­ond last week of November).

The gap between the price of refined olive oil and extra vir­gin olive oil is cur­rently around €0.06/kg in Spain and €0.18/kg in Italy.

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