`More Imports of Greek Olive Oil to Japan

Europe

More Imports of Greek Olive Oil to Japan

Jul. 16, 2014
Louise Taylor

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Olive oil imports to Japan con­tinue to grow, with Greece post­ing record export amounts in 2012 and 2013. Japan imported about 54,000 tons of olive oil and olive pomace oil dur­ing the 2012 – 2013 crop year, up 18 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous period and 44 per­cent over 2010 – 2011 lev­els. Greek exports accounted for €2.8 mil­lion of the total €194 mil­lion oil exports to Japan in 2012. Though expected to level off, Japan con­tin­ues to reg­is­ter a mild increase in imports as olive oil becomes an estab­lished sta­ple ingre­di­ent in more Japan­ese kitchens.

Greek exports expand in some mar­kets, shrink in oth­ers

Greek oil exports increased over­all in 2013, with the bulk going to Italy and Spain. Other mar­kets shrank, how­ever, includ­ing China, which imported 25 per­cent less oil from Greece over the pre­vi­ous year. The hefty 2012 increase in exports to Ger­many — which has a large Greek pop­u­la­tion — was also reversed in 2013 dip­ping 54 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year.

Other grow­ing mar­kets include Bul­garia, where imports of Greek oil rose for the fifth con­sec­u­tive year in 2012, more than dou­bling since 2009. Greece is the sec­ond largest exporter of olive oil to Bul­garia after Italy, and the fourth largest exporter to Japan, fol­low­ing Italy, Spain and Turkey.

Greek pro­duc­tion down

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As Greece bat­tles the fall­out of adverse weather con­di­tions and olive fruit fly infes­ta­tion, Greek pro­duc­tion of olive oil is expected to decline by over 50 per­cent for the 2013 – 2014 year effec­tively revers­ing the over 20 per­cent increase to 357 900 tons recorded for the 2012 – 2013 pro­duc­tion period. More than 80 per­cent of Greek annual pro­duc­tion is extra vir­gin olive oil. While olive oil yields have declined, pro­ducer prices, how­ever, reg­is­tered a rise to €2.49/kg at the end of May this year, up 6 per­cent from the same period a year ear­lier.

Greek farm­ing expand­ing

Olive farm­ing has been expand­ing in Greece, a trend expected to con­tinue, reach­ing an esti­mated 767 000 hectares of oil groves in Greece by the year 2020, accord­ing to fore­casts pub­lished by the Euro­pean Commission’s Direc­torate Gen­eral for Agri­cul­ture & Rural Devel­op­ment, based on the Euro­stat Farm Struc­ture Sur­vey (con­ducted every three years), amongst other sources.

While over­all oil exports are expected to con­tinue their decline between now and 2020, exports to cer­tain mar­kets are still ris­ing, with Greek exports to non-EU coun­tries post­ing 10 per­cent growth for the 2012 – 2013 pro­duc­tion year pri­mar­ily to the USA, Rus­sia – and Japan.


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