`Data on Italy’s Carryover Olive Oil Stocks Too 'Sensitive' to Release


Data on Italy’s Carryover Olive Oil Stocks Too 'Sensitive' to Release

Apr. 10, 2014
By Julie Butler

Recent News

Details of Italy’s olive oil stocks at the start of the cur­rent sea­son can’t be released because the com­mer­cially sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion” could dis­turb the mar­ket, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has told Olive Oil Times.

The Commission’s trans­parency unit was respond­ing to a request for details of Italy’s car­ry­over stocks for the last three years. It agreed to release the fig­ure for last year, said it found no doc­u­ments cov­er­ing that for the pre­vi­ous year – because the

oblig­a­tion to send the data started in July 2012 – and refused to release that for the cur­rent sea­son because this kind of infor­ma­tion can specif­i­cally influ­ence olive oil mar­ket prices and disturb…the mar­ket.” In such cases the data can only be released if there is an over­rid­ing pub­lic inter­est in dis­clo­sure,” which was not found to be the case, it said. Olive Oil Times has exer­cised its right to ask for a review of the deci­sion.

The data the Com­mis­sion did release shows Italy declared olive oil pro­duc­tion of 409,140 tons, con­sump­tion of 695,000 tons and end-of-year stocks of 102,897 tons for the 2012/13 mar­ket­ing year, which runs from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.

Ital­ian politi­cian queries 177,000 ton short­fall”

The infor­ma­tion on car­ry­over stocks was sought partly in response to a writ­ten ques­tion in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in Novem­ber by Ital­ian MEP Mara Biz­zotto (EFD). Headed Extra vir­gin olive oil made in Italy: one bot­tle in five fake”, the text of Bizzotto’s ques­tion said analy­sis of pro­duc­tion, import, export and con­sump­tion fig­ures showed that in Italy, there is not enough olive oil for every­one: there is a short­fall of 177,000 tons.” She went on to refer to scams such as sub­sti­tut­ing olive oil with cheaper seed oil, adding beta-carotene and chloro­phyll to give it a sim­i­lar appear­ance to that of the more prized prod­uct,” and asked what was being done to pro­tect Ital­ian con­sumers. Bizzotto’s office said her let­ter was prompted by an arti­cle in Italy’s online con­sumer affairs mag­a­zine Il Sal­vagente.


Monthly updates avail­able on Span­ish olive oil stocks

Pro­vi­sional data pub­lished sep­a­rately by the Com­mis­sion and sup­plied by the Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil for Italy for the offi­cial olive oil sea­son – Octo­ber 2012 to Sep­tem­ber 2013 – lists pro­duc­tion of 415,500 tons, con­sump­tion of 590,000 tons (an aver­age of 9.67kg for each of Italy’s esti­mated 61.5 mil­lion inhab­i­tants), exports of 336,400 tons and imports of 455,800 tons. This means the total of con­sump­tion and exports exceeded the total of pro­duc­tion and imports by 55,100 tons but the start­ing and fin­ish­ing stocks are not stated, nor is there a break­down for the extra vir­gin cat­e­gory.

In Spain, by far the world’s biggest olive oil pro­ducer, details of olive oil stocks are pub­lished online by the Food Chain Infor­ma­tion Agency (AICA) and updated monthly.

Data sources:

Euro­pean Com­mis­sion EU olive oil data

Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil mar­ket data

Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil mar­ket data

Site where details of Spains olive oil stocks (exis­ten­cias in Span­ish) are pub­lished by AICA

Related News