`Global Olive Oil Imports Slip - Olive Oil Times

Global Olive Oil Imports Slip

Nov. 8, 2021
Paolo DeAndreis

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Global vir­gin olive oils and non-vir­gin olive oils imports have sig­nif­i­cantly decreased dur­ing the 2020/21 crop year, accord­ing to the data reported by the International Olive Council (IOC).

Between October 2020 and August 2021, total olive oil imports reached 813,476 tons, rep­re­sent­ing an eight-per­cent drop com­pared with the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

Virgin olive oils con­sti­tuted 76 per­cent of all imports, fol­lowed by non-vir­gin olive oils with 19 per­cent and olive pomace oils at six per­cent.

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The 2020/21 crop year was heav­ily affected by the con­se­quences of the Covid-19 pan­demic on olive oil com­mer­cial­iza­tion, stor­age vol­umes, price and con­sump­tion.

Russian imports increased 12 per­cent com­pared with the same period dur­ing the pre­vi­ous crop year.


Meanwhile, there was a more mod­est six-per­cent rise in Canadian imports and a four-per­cent increase in Brazilian olive oil imports.

Still, olive oil imports into the European Union from coun­tries out­side the bloc fell 31 per­cent. Significant drops also were reported in Japan ( – 16 per­cent) and China ( – 6 per­cent). Imports to the United States also decreased one per­cent, falling to 314,791 tons.

On the other hand, E.U. coun­tries con­firmed their piv­otal role in sup­ply­ing the olive oil global mar­ket. Spain remains respon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing 29 per­cent of all global imports, a decrease of 0.7 per­cent. Meanwhile, the Italian share fell to 21 per­cent, a slightly smaller decline of 0.4 per­cent.

Portugal was the only major olive oil-pro­duc­ing nation to expe­ri­ence a sig­nif­i­cant drop, with imports from the Iberian coun­try falling 11 per­cent to reach 88,751 tons.

Outside of the European Union, Tunisia also expe­ri­enced a sig­nif­i­cant decrease, with imports from the North African pro­ducer decreas­ing by 22 per­cent. Still, Tunisia remains one of the most sig­nif­i­cant olive oil-pro­duc­ing coun­tries, with 218,261 tons of olive oil imported from the coun­try, equal to a 27-per­cent share of the global import mar­ket.

Significant growth was reported for Chile, with olive oil imports from the west­ern South American coun­try increas­ing by 16 per­cent to make up 1.6 per­cent of the global mar­ket. Argentina also saw its share grow 11 per­cent, reach­ing 2.5 per­cent of total global imports.

See Also:European Olive Oil Exports Expected to Recover as Costs Rise

Eight mar­kets rep­re­sent around 81 per­cent of the imports of olive oils and vir­gin olive oils around the world: the United States with 36 per­cent, the European Union with 15 per­cent, Brazil with eight per­cent, Japan with seven per­cent, Canada with five per­cent, China with four per­cent, Australia with three per­cent and Russia with three per­cent,” the IOC report said.

In the same period – October 2020 through August 2021 – IOC data con­firmed an increase of table olive imports, which grew 7.5 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

Five mar­kets rep­re­sent around 64 per­cent of the imports around the world: the United States with 23 per­cent, Brazil with 17 per­cent, the European Union with 16 per­cent, Canada with five per­cent and Australia with three per­cent,” the report said.

The most rel­e­vant vari­a­tions in table olives imports were reported in Canada, whose vol­umes have been slowly grow­ing in pre­vi­ous years and in the 2020/21 crop year spiked 23 per­cent.

In Argentina, where import growth has fol­lowed a sim­i­lar trend, imports rose 21 per­cent com­pared with the pre­vi­ous sea­son. The United States, by far the most rel­e­vant table olive importer, has seen its vol­umes grow nine per­cent in the last sea­son.

Spain retained the lead as the lead­ing provider of table olives to the inter­na­tional mar­ket with a 20-per­cent share of the global vol­umes. Still, those num­bers dropped 6.5 per­cent when com­pared to the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

The sec­ond major source of table olives has been Egypt, which not only con­sol­i­dated its role but has seen its mar­ket share rise by 27 per­cent to 70,124 tons.

With a 26-per­cent increase, Greece reached 13 per­cent of the global vol­umes, just behind Argentina and Morocco. The most sig­nif­i­cant vari­a­tion for the period was reported for Albania, which expe­ri­enced a 55-per­cent increase to 9,136 tons, equal to two per­cent of the global trade.


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