`New Data Shows Continuing Decline in World Olive Oil Imports

Europe

New Data Shows Continuing Decline in World Olive Oil Imports

Apr. 14, 2014
By 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

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- 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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