`European Imports of Olive Oil Sharply Higher in Latest Report - Olive Oil Times

European Imports of Olive Oil Sharply Higher in Latest Report

Jun. 14, 2011
Julie Butler

Recent News

Imports of olive oil into the European Union were up 27 per­cent in the five months to February, accord­ing to the International Olive Council’s May Market Newsletter, released today.

However, since November – well before the March 11 tsunami – imports into Japan have been lower every month than the year before, reach­ing a cumu­la­tive fall of 10 per­cent.

The newslet­ter high­lights that com­bined imports by Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, the USA and the EU in the first five months of 2010/11 were up 120,386 tons, or 22 per­cent more than the same period the sea­son before.

Individual import increases for the six months to March com­pared with the same period a year ago were for Australia 2 per­cent, Brazil 19 per­cent, Canada 17 per­cent, and the USA – which in March alone imported 31,727 tons – was up 17 per­cent.


Meanwhile, pro­ducer prices for extra vir­gin olive oil have soared 45 per­cent in Italy, to €3.90/kg ($5.60/kg), com­pared with last year, but are down 4 per­cent in Spain (€1.98/kg) and 5 per­cent in Greece (€2.04/kg).

Prices have recorded a very steep increase in Italy in recent weeks, con­trast­ing with the drop in Spain, although they now appear to be lev­el­ing off at around €3.90/kg. This con­firms the grow­ing dis­tance between the prices paid to pro­duc­ers in Italy and those paid in Spain and Greece,” the IOC said in the newslet­ter.

As for refined olive oil, prices have slipped in both Spain (2 per­cent) and Italy (4 per­cent). No data was avail­able for Greece.

The very mild price recov­ery that began in August 2010 con­tin­ued through to mid-December, since when the trend seems to have reversed. The bulk of this recov­ery appears to have been lost although there have con­tin­ued to be minor price fluc­tu­a­tions since the sum­mer. Unlike the price of extra vir­gin olive oil, the price com­manded by refined olive oil dif­fers very lit­tle (0.14%) between Italy and Spain,” the IOC said.

The newslet­ter focused on Turkey, which will host the IOC’s 17th extra­or­di­nary ses­sion in Istanbul, from June 27 to July 1. Turkey rejoined the IOC just over a year ago and has stated its ambi­tion to move from being the world’s sixth to its sec­ond biggest pro­ducer, after Spain.

For 2010/11 Turkey expects an out­put of 160,000 tons but hopes to nearly dou­ble this – to 300,000 tons – in the next five years. In 2009/10, Turkey exported 29,500 tons of olive oil, mainly to the EU27, USA, Saudi Arabia and Japan, in descend­ing order of vol­ume.

Olive oil accounts for just nine per­cent of Turkey’s total veg­etable oil con­sump­tion, a low level attrib­uted to poor con­sumer aware­ness of its health ben­e­fits. Per capita olive oil con­sump­tion was 1.4kg in 2010 but is fore­cast to rise to 5kg by 2015.

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