` Industry Group Reports Sharp Rise in Spanish Olive Oil Exports

Europe

Industry Group Reports Sharp Rise in Spanish Olive Oil Exports

Oct. 26, 2011
By Julie Butler

Recent News

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.

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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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