` Spain Olive Oil Giant Hojiblanca Gets 3,000 Ton Order from China Co. - Olive Oil Times

Spain Olive Oil Giant Hojiblanca Gets 3,000 Ton Order from China Co.

Jan. 6, 2011
Charlie Higgins

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By Charlie Higgins | Reporting from Buenos Aires

This week Spain’s largest olive oil pro­ducer Hojiblanca reached an agree­ment with Wilmar Iberica, a Chinese multi­na­tional based in Singapore, to sup­ply the com­pany with 3,000 tons of extra vir­gin olive oil.

This marks a major break­through for the Andalusia-based com­pany, which has strug­gled to crack into the Asian mar­ket. César Ruesgas, Hojiblanca’s sales VP, told Europa Press, We’ve been fight­ing for years in that mar­ket and have worked with the main dis­tri­b­u­tion and pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies in China, but we were miss­ing this.” Ruesgas added that he was very happy” with the outcome.

The one-year con­tract ini­tially requires Hojiblanca to send the oil in bulk to be bot­tled in Singapore. However Ruesgas told Europa Press, the idea is to keep grow­ing and in the future bot­tle the oil in Andalusia. We want to estab­lish a long-term relationship.”

The fact that Wilmar Iberica dis­trib­utes its prod­ucts to more than 50 coun­tries and is Asia’s lead­ing agribusi­ness group only sweet­ens the deal. The com­pany has over 80,000 employ­ees and oper­ates in over 20 coun­tries across four continents.

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Hojiblanca expects to gen­er­ate between six and seven mil­lion euros through the new agreement.

Roughly 50 per cent of all olive oil con­sumed in China is of Spanish ori­gin, and Hojiblanca is the top brand. The com­pany already con­trols an esti­mated 12.5 per­cent of China’s entire olive oil mar­ket, export­ing a total of 2,500 tons to the Asian giant annu­ally. This new agree­ment will push Hojiblanca’s mar­ket share up to 20 per cent.

The deal, which will go into effect at the end of the month, is part of a larger set of eco­nomic agree­ments signed by Spanish prime min­is­ter José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and China’s exec­u­tive vice-pre­mier Li Keqiang. China has agreed to buy a range of Spanish exports, includ­ing $260,000 of ham, $9 mil­lion of olive oil and $6 mil­lion of wine. The multi­bil­lion-dol­lar invest­ment should boost the EU nation’s belea­guered finances.

Chinese con­sump­tion of olive oil has increased in recent years, par­tic­u­larly in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai where 90 per cent of the country’s imported oils are sold. Currently the nation imports 60,000 tons of olive oil a year from coun­tries like Spain, Greece, Italy and Syria. Public inter­est in the so-called green gold” has also grown. In 2011 China will host its sev­enth inter­na­tional olive oil exhi­bi­tion in Shanghai.

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Sources:

La Voz Libre: Hojiblanca sum­in­is­trará 3.000 toneladas de aceite a una multi­na­cional de Singapur http://www.lavozlibre.com/noticias/ampliar/176144/-hojiblanca-suministrara-3000-toneladas-de-aceite-a-una-multinacional-de-singapur

Libertad Balear: España y China poten­cian su relación en mate­ria energética y en la pro­mo­ción de inver­siones exte­ri­ores http://www.libertadbalear.com/?p=240658

The Guardian: China to make mul­ti­mil­lion pound invest­ment in belea­guered Spain http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jan/05/china-investment-spain-bonds

Olive Line: China Flavors Its Market With Spanish Olive Oil http://www.olive-line.com/company/eng_news.php/show/111/china-flavours-its-market-with-spanish-olive-oil/

The Source: Chinese Official Goes to Save Spain, Buys Ham http://blogs.wsj.com/source/2011/01/05/chinese-official-goes-to-save-spain-buys-ham/

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