`Spanish Olive Oil Exports to U.S. Plummet in First Half of 2020 - Olive Oil Times

Spanish Olive Oil Exports to U.S. Plummet in First Half of 2020

By Daniel Dawson
Aug. 19, 2020 09:11 UTC

Spanish olive oil exports to the United States have dropped by 39 per­cent in the first half of 2020, newly ana­lyzed data from the Association of Young Farmers (Asaja) shows.

The announce­ment came as the United States Trade Representative has opted to keep its 25 per­cent tar­iff on some pack­aged Spanish olive oil imports in place.

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Spanish farmer and exporter asso­ci­a­tions have both blamed the tar­iffs, which came into force in October 2019, as the main rea­son for the sharp drop.

As long as this issue is not resolved in accor­dance with the cri­te­ria of the WTO [World Trade Organization] rul­ing, the nego­ti­a­tions will never bear fruit in the elim­i­na­tion of tar­iffs that seri­ously harm Spanish agri-food prod­ucts and, par­tic­u­larly, the Spanish olive oil sec­tor,” the Spanish Association of Olive Oil Exporting, Industry and Commerce (Asoliva) wrote in a state­ment.

“[The sec­tor] faces mil­lions in losses as it is de facto expelled from the American mar­ket for the ben­e­fit of com­pet­ing coun­tries within the E.U. such as Italy, Greece and Portugal,” the trade asso­ci­a­tion added.

Overall, Spanish olive oil exports to the U.S. reached 41,727 tons in the first half of the year. By com­par­i­son, Spain has shipped an aver­age of 112,000 tons of olive oil to the U.S. in each of the past three years.

Over the past 12 months, Spain has slipped from being the sec­ond-largest exporter of pack­aged olive oils to the U.S. to the fourth largest. Additionally, Spain has fallen behind Tunisia as the sec­ond-largest sup­plier of bulk olive oil, which has been unaf­fected by tar­iffs, to the U.S.

As a result of shrink­ing U.S. demand, many of Spain’s pro­duc­ers and exporters have begun to look for new mar­kets.

According to the same data ana­lyzed by Asaja, exports to Canada jumped by 111 per­cent in the first six months of 2020, com­pared with the year before. Additionally, Spanish olive oil sales in Australia and Brazil grew by 63 per­cent and 15 per­cent, respec­tively.


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