`Spanish Olive Oil Exports to the U.S. Showing Strong Gains - Olive Oil Times

Spanish Olive Oil Exports to the U.S. Showing Strong Gains

Aug. 30, 2010
Sarah Schwager

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By Sarah Schwager
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Buenos Aires

Spanish cus­toms announced this week exports of olive oil to the United States have increased by 17% in the first half of the year. [1]

The increase is a huge gain for the Spanish indus­try, which began export­ing high-priced olive oil to the US in the 1960s in exchange for cheap soy­bean oil.

Customs says the increase is a result of both eco­nomic cir­cum­stances and a mas­sive boom in marketing.

Spanish com­pa­nies have lifted their olive oil mar­ket­ing cam­paign in the US in recent years to cap­i­tal­ize on recent trends.

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Spanish olive oil is now much more afford­able for Americans. The coop­er­a­tives and mills are now sell­ing the oil much cheaper, which is pro­vid­ing more mar­ket­ing options for olive oil com­pa­nies albeit at the expense of farm­ers’ incomes.

And so super­mar­ket oper­a­tors are now decid­ing to buy more olive oil, rec­og­niz­ing that Americans will buy a higher-qual­ity and health­ier prod­uct that costs much the same as the fats they are already con­sum­ing, or at least those tra­di­tion­ally linked to the American culture.

The eco­nomic cri­sis has also helped expor­ta­tion between European coun­tries and the US as the dol­lar has proved more solid in the inter­na­tional finan­cial mar­kets than the euro.

While the price of olive oil rel­a­tive to for­eign exchange is vari­able, so the suc­cess of exports must be deter­mined over a long period of time, indi­ca­tions are that the momen­tum of olive oil sales in the US is here to stay.

This is largely thanks to Spanish com­pa­nies’ deter­mi­na­tion to build their busi­ness with the US rather than allow­ing the com­mer­cial gains to go to a for­eign oper­a­tor. Spain is by far the largest olive oil pro­duc­ing coun­try in the world, respon­si­ble for nearly half of the global production.

The ambi­tious pro­mo­tional cam­paign launched, in part, by non-profit orga­ni­za­tion Interprofesional del Aceite de Oliva Español can also not be shrugged at. It was founded in 2002 by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers, olive oil traders, refin­ers, pack­ers and exporters united to strengthen the posi­tion of Spanish olive oil on the world mar­ket, improve com­pet­i­tive­ness and ensure the future of the sector.

In March, the Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX), the Spanish Association of Industry and Olive Oil Exporters (ASOLIVA), Extenda — Trade Promotion Agency of Andalusia, the Inter-Organization of Spanish Olive Oil and the Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha joined forces to launch a cam­paign to strengthen the posi­tion­ing of Spanish olive oil in sev­eral European Union mar­kets, the United States, Australia and Brazil, and step up pro­mo­tional activ­i­ties in mar­kets with high growth poten­tial such as Russia, China, India, Mexico and Ukraine.
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Source: Diario Jaen

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