` Growing Thirst for Olive Oil in Japan and India

Asia

Growing Thirst for Olive Oil in Japan and India

May. 13, 2013
By Julie Butler

Recent News

The pace with which olive oil demand is ris­ing in Japan is out­strip­ping even that of China, accord­ing to the April newslet­ter of the Inter­na­tional Olive coun­cil (IOC).

The IOC data shows that five months into the cur­rent olive oil sea­son, imports are up a quar­ter on the same period in 2011/12 in Japan, 19 per­cent in China, 16 per­cent in Brazil, 12 per­cent in Rus­sia, and 4 per­cent in both Aus­tralia and in the United States — by far the biggest mar­ket out­side the Euro­pean Union.

And after falling by 1 per­cent over­all last sea­son, demand in Canada has shot back with growth of 21 per­cent for Octo­ber 2012 – Feb­ru­ary 2013, com­pared to the same period a year ago.

Explo­sive growth in India

Advertisement

But it is the nascent olive oil mar­ket of India that has the most dizzy­ing data. Imports last sea­son exploded 74 per­cent on 2010/11, though to a total of just 9,400 tons. In com­par­i­son, imports grew 23 per­cent in Japan over the same period, to a total of 45,571 tons.

And for the first five months of this sea­son, Indian imports are up 48 per­cent, though again with rel­a­tively small vol­umes.

India and Japan: dif­fer­ent tastes

In spe­cial sec­tions this month on trade with India and Japan, the IOC included fig­ures show­ing that the Japan­ese mar­ket has evolved with a pref­er­ence for vir­gin olive oil and the Indian mar­ket so far favors the grade called olive oil.

In 2011/12, two thirds of Japan’s imports were vir­gin, 28 per­cent olive oil, and 5 per­cent olive pomace oil, while nearly three quar­ters of India’s were clas­si­fied as olive oil grade, 18 per­cent vir­gin and 9 per­cent pomace.

The IOC said it was worth recall­ing it began activ­i­ties to pro­mote olive oil con­sump­tion in Japan in 1991 and import trends sug­gested these had a very sig­nif­i­cant impact.”

Its fig­ures show both Japan and India get most of their olive oil from Spain and Italy. Among the sources of India’s imports, though with tiny vol­umes, China and non-pro­ducer coun­tries includ­ing Swe­den, Japan and Ger­many appear.

Grower prices in Europe

Ex-mill prices for extra vir­gin olive oil lie at €2.84/kg in Spain, rep­re­sent­ing 60 per­cent growth on a year ago and a return to the level of Sep­tem­ber 2006.

In Italy, they rose from €2.61/kg in the last week of Novem­ber to €3.22/kg in the last week of April, mak­ing for 34 per­cent growth on the same period a sea­son ago.

In Greece, prices were up 34 per­cent hav­ing moved from €2.04/kg to €2.46/kg between the last weeks of Decem­ber and April. How­ever, in recent weeks prices in Italy and Greece have flat­tened, the IOC said.

The dif­fer­ence between the price of refined olive oil and extra vir­gin olive oil is now about €0.32/kg in Spain and €0.40/kg in Italy.

Table olives

Table olive imports for Octo­ber – Feb­ru­ary are up 18 per­cent in Canada, 14 per­cent in Aus­tralia, 10 per­cent each in Brazil and Rus­sia, and unchanged in the U.S., com­pared to the same period last sea­son.



Related News