` Italy, Spain, Tunisia America’s Top Olive Oil Suppliers - Olive Oil Times

Italy, Spain, Tunisia America’s Top Olive Oil Suppliers

Jan. 29, 2014
Julie Butler

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Spain’s loss was Turkey’s gain last sea­son in the world’s biggest olive oil mar­ket — the United States — where total imports slipped six per­cent on 2011/12.

Spain saw its sales to the US plum­met from nearly 93,000 to just under 59,000 tons as its share of US imports shrank from nearly thirty to just under twenty per­cent. The International Olive Council (IOC), which reported the fig­ures in its lat­est newslet­ter, said this was prob­a­bly due to the drought-induced 62 per­cent drop in Spanish olive oil pro­duc­tion in 2012/13.

Turkey’s sales mul­ti­plied nine-fold

Turkey’s exports to the US, mean­while, shot up spec­tac­u­larly from just 3,152 tons in 2011/12 to 28,729 tons last sea­son. Climbing from just 1 per­cent of total US imports to 9.6 per­cent last sea­son, its rank­ing rose from 8th to 4th out of all the US sup­pli­ers as it over­took Argentina, Greece, Morocco, and Chile and placed just under Tunisia, which with about 35,520 tons sup­plied nearly 12 per­cent of US imports.

However, the IOC has pre­vi­ously reported that Turkey expects lower pro­duc­tion this sea­son, due to poor rain­fall dur­ing flow­er­ing, and Tunisia a sig­nif­i­cantly lower vol­ume.

Italy still sup­pies half America’s olive oil

Leading sup­plier Italy’s exports to the US fell about 10,000 tons to 145,365 tons, its low­est vol­ume for the last five years, but it clung onto most of its dom­i­nant mar­ket share, deliv­er­ing 48.6 per­cent of the nearly 300,000 ton total of US olive oil imports in 2012/13.

Sales up from Greece, Morocco; down from Argentina, Australia

Greece’s exports rose from 5,531 to 7,492 tons and its mar­ket share went from 1.7 to 2.5 per­cent while Morocco went from 4,961 to 6,971 tons and from 1.6 to 2.3 per­cent respec­tively.

However Argentina went from about 9,090 to 5,510 and Australia from 1,985 to just 218 tons.

The vast major­ity — 64 per­cent — of olive oil imported by the US last sea­son was in the vir­gin cat­e­gory — which also accounted for most of the six per­cent decline in over­all vol­ume — while a third was in the olive oil” cat­e­gory and 4 per­cent was olive pomace oil.

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