`Industry Group Reports Sharp Rise in Spanish Olive Oil Exports - Olive Oil Times

Industry Group Reports Sharp Rise in Spanish Olive Oil Exports

By Julie Butler
Oct. 26, 2011 10:06 UTC

Spain has dou­bled its olive oil exports in the last decade and now sends 60 per­cent of its pro­duc­tion abroad, increas­ingly pre-pack­aged rather than in bulk.

It has also over­taken Italy as the biggest olive oil sup­plier in new mar­kets, last year export­ing 200,000 tons beyond Europe. Compared to 2009, exports rose by a third in both the U.S. — now Spain’s main non-EU olive oil buyer — to 65,969 tons, and Australia, to 24,671 tons.

The biggest export growth was in China, up 78 per­cent to 9,461 tons, and India, up 76 per­cent to 2,887 tons.

The fig­ures were released this week by Spain’s Interprofesional del Aceite de Oliva Español, a non-profit pro­mo­tional orga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sent­ing all of Spain’s olive oil sec­tor.

Jointly with other orga­ni­za­tions — ICEX, ASOLIVA, EXTENDA and IPEX — the Interprofessional will again this year draw on a bud­get of €1.6 mil­lion ($2.2m) to pro­mote Spanish olive oil in strate­gic mar­kets. Its pres­i­dent, Pedro Barato, said it was sig­nif­i­cant not only that Spain was increas­ing exports every year, but that growth had been achieved in 2010 despite the global finan­cial cri­sis.”

The Interprofessional was par­tic­u­larly pleased with the result of its cam­paigns in China, which despite not hav­ing a tra­di­tion of olive oil con­sump­tion, is now Spain’s fifth biggest olive oil cus­tomer. The fig­ures for the first eight months of 2011 are even more spec­tac­u­lar, with sales growth of 125 per­cent,” it said in a state­ment.

Interprofessional Director Teresa Pérez said future cam­paigns would include more online and social net­work pro­mo­tions and har­ness the pres­tige of local iden­ti­ties, such as promi­nent chefs and med­ical experts.

Increasing its exports is cru­cial for Spain, which is suf­fer­ing a pro­longed olive oil pric­ing cri­sis and stag­nant, if not slightly falling, con­sump­tion.

According to International Olive Council fore­casts, Spain’s 2010/11production will stand at 1.37 mil­lion tons – 45 per­cent of world pro­duc­tion. Meanwhile, for the twelve months to this August, house­hold con­sump­tion of olive oil con­tin­ued its down­ward ten­dency, falling 2 per­cent on last year, accord­ing to fig­ures from Spain’s Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM).


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