`New Data Shows Continuing Decline in World Olive Oil Imports - Olive Oil Times

New Data Shows Continuing Decline in World Olive Oil Imports

Apr. 14, 2014
Julie Butler

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A wor­ry­ing fall in world trade in olive oil and olive pomace oil con­tin­ues, the lat­est mar­ket fig­ures shows.

Imports are down in all the key mar­kets beyond Europe, with an 8 per­cent slide year-on-year in the biggest buyer, the United States, 9 per­cent in the next main importer, Brazil, 1 per­cent in Japan, 30 per­cent in China, 8 per­cent in Canada, 20 per­cent in Australia and 8 per­cent in Russia.

The data, cov­er­ing October 2013-January 2014 – the first four months of the 2013/14 crop year 2014 – are in the International Olive Council’s (IOC) March mar­ket newslet­ter, which also includes data on the first three months of trade in the European Union, where there’s been a 2 per­cent drop in intra-EU acqui­si­tions and 10 per­cent in extra-EU imports com­pared with the same period the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

The IOC, which said in its pre­vi­ous newslet­ter that the decline in world imports was wor­ri­some”, noted that the most recent monthly data, for January, showed imports by Australia, Japan, the US and Canada have picked up from the level of December 2013, unlike China, Brazil and Russia where they con­tinue down­wards.”

Despite the sce­nario reported by the IOC, the world’s biggest olive oil pro­ducer, Spain, says its exports are at an all-time high so far this sea­son.

Ex-mill prices for extra vir­gin olive oil

- Spain: The IOC also reported pro­ducer prices for extra vir­gin olive oil have shown a down­ward ten­dency in Spain in recent months, stand­ing at €2.00/kg by the last week of March, which was a third lower on the same time a year ago. At first glance, this trend appears to mir­ror the recov­ery in the level of Spain’s pro­duc­tion but it does not seem to take into account the lower out­put in Greece and Tunisia,” the IOC said. At the end of March, the price of refined olive oil was about €0.18/kg lower than that for extra vir­gin olive oil in Spain.

- Italy: After falling until the begin­ning of December 2013, pro­ducer prices in Italy started to rise, reach­ing €3.27/kg by the end of March, up 2 per­cent on the same time a year ago. The IOC said this was prob­a­bly linked to the har­vest in Greece, which will be small and will not put pres­sure on prices on the Italian mar­ket.” It also noted the price dif­fer­ence between extra vir­gin and refined olive oil – €1.41/kg – is much wider than in Spain.


- Greece: From mid-December to late January, pro­ducer prices in Greece held steady at €2.46/kg, later ris­ing to €2.56/kg in late March, a level the IOC said prob­a­bly, ties in with the lower level of Greek pro­duc­tion for 2013/14.”

- Tunisia: pro­ducer prices fell from €2.53/kg in late October to €2.45/kg by end-March, a level 5 per­cent down on March 2013. While last year the poor har­vest in Spain gen­er­ated higher prices in Tunisia than in 2011/12, this year’s com­bi­na­tion of a good har­vest in Spain and poor one in Tunisia prob­a­bly partly explains the cur­rent level of prices in Tunisia, which have moved away from Spanish prices since early January 2014,” the IOC said.

Table olives

In the first four months of the 2013/14 crop year (October 2013 – January 2014), table olive imports rose by 6 per­cent in the US and 3 per­cent in Australia but fell 13 per­cent in Russia, 12 per­cent in Canada and 10 per­cent in Brazil.

The EU data for January 2014 was not yet avail­able but that for the first three months of the crop year showed intra-EU acqui­si­tions dropped 8 per­cent and imports from non-EU coun­tries 3 per­cent, the IOC said.


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