`Spanish Olive Oil Exports Boosted by Emerging Markets - Olive Oil Times

Spanish Olive Oil Exports Boosted by Emerging Markets

Apr. 5, 2011
Christian Brazil Bautista

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Spain, the world’s lead­ing pro­ducer of olive oil, is main­tain­ing its posi­tion on top of the industry’s peck­ing order, with most of its growth tied to new mar­kets.

Recent fig­ures from Spain’s cus­toms depart­ment show that the country’s exports of bot­tled olive oil in 2010 increased by 10 per­cent to a record high €1.95 bil­lion. The increase was even higher to coun­tries out­side the European Union; Spain’s export growth to non-EU mar­kets was 17 per­cent, thanks to the patron­age of fast-grow­ing mar­kets like China, Brazil and Russia.

China is now the 10th largest mar­ket for Spanish oil exports, with sales reach­ing €34.6 mil­lion ($48.8 mil­lion). Spain’s exports to China have tripled since 2007. Recently, Spain’s olive oil exports to China received a boost from Hojiblanca’s trade agree­ment with Yikhai Kerry Investment Co. Ltd. that resulted in the pur­chase of 3,000 met­ric tons of olive oil.

Brazil has like­wise expe­ri­enced a surge in Spanish olive oil con­sump­tion. In just three years, the country’s imports have almost dou­bled, mak­ing it the eighth largest mar­ket for Spanish oil in the world. Last year, Brazil pur­chased €44.8 mil­lion ($63.1 mil­lion) worth of olive oil, up from €28.1 mil­lion ($39.6 mil­lion) in 2007. Hojiblanca will ship two mil­lion liters of olive oil to Brazil this year.

Last year, Spain pro­duced 1.4 mil­lion met­ric tons of olive oil. Italy, its clos­est com­peti­tor, pro­duced 460,000 met­ric tons. Greece, mean­while, pro­duced 360,000 met­ric tons. Spain’s main export mar­kets are the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Italy and Portugal. According to fig­ures from the International Olive Council (IOC), sales of Spanish olive oil last year were equal to those of Greece, Italy and Portugal com­bined.

Spain’s olive oil indus­try is com­prised of about 1,950 com­pa­nies. The major­ity of the country’s olive oil is pro­duced in the autonomous regions of Andalusia and Castilla La-Mancha. Andalusia, which is respon­si­ble for about 40 per­cent of all Spanish pro­duc­tion, holds the dis­tinc­tion as the world cap­i­tal for olive oil pro­duc­tion. Castilla La-Mancha pro­duces 6 per­cent of the total Spanish out­put. Other regions involved in olive oil pro­duc­tion are Extremadura, Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia.

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