The price of Tunisian olive oil exports has increased substantially on international markets in recent months.
From November 2020 to March 2021, export prices increased by 30-percent compared with the previous crop year.
According to the figures released by the National Olive Oil Office (ONH), Tunisia exported 109,000 tons of olive oil in that period, down from the 144,000 tons recorded in the same period of the previous year.See Also: Tunisian Exporters See Opportunities Abroad
While the volumes were affected by the olive oil production decrease in the country, prices per unit grew. Overall revenues reached 852 million dinar (€258 million) against the 895 million dinar (€271 million) in the 2019/20 fiscal year.
Moez Ben Amor, ONH commercial director, said olive oil production after the latest harvest dropped to around 300,000 tons against the 440,000 tons of the previous year.
However, in a statement to the local TAP news agency, Ben Amor focused on the selling price, which improved considerably compared to the previous season. The 30-percent increase means substantial revenue growth for the whole production and export chain, he added.
In the last five years, ONH recorded continuous growth for packaged olive oil exports, which grew in volume by 34 percent.
Those volumes reached 11,519 tons in the current season, equal to 130 million dinar (€39 million) in revenue, against the 97,538 tons of bulk olive oil exports. In the same period of the previous year, 8,586 tons of packaged olive oil were exported.
Packaged olive oil is the focus of several initiatives by the Tunisian authorities, who in recent months have worked to lower bureaucratic hurdles and promote product quality through the digitalization of procedures and new quality labels.
Ben Amor confirmed the relevance of packaged olive oil and extra virgin olive oil for the added value they represent on the market, even more on the international markets.
The OHN official specifically referred to the trade agreements with the European Union, which allows local producers to export 57,600 tons of their product to the E.U. each crop year.
According to Ben Amor, almost 70 percent of all Tunisian olive oil exports are destined for Europe, with 23 percent going to the North American market, which grew from 19 percent in the previous year.See Also: Trade News
More specifically, in the first five months of the fiscal year, the United States imported 2,000 tons of packaged olive oil, Ben Amor said, while Canada imported 3,000 tons. The ONH added that sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had also increased.
Ben Amor emphasized that the growing interest in Tunisian olive oil abroad fueled packaged olive oil exports, which in turn allowed exporters to strengthen Tunisian brands on the international markets.
He added that both Asian and African countries represent opportunities for Tunisian exporters, highlighting India, Japan and China, countries where olive oil popularity and imports are steadily growing.
Increasing exports are also fueling investments in the Cho Group, one of the major Tunisian producers and packaged olive oil exporters.
According to Agence Ecofin, the International Finance Corporation and the Dutch Fund Development Finance Fund are investing €12 million in the company to fuel the expansion of its packaged olive oil export operations.
Today the company sells its packaged olive oil in 24 countries and some of its products have proved their quality, including Terra Delyssa, which won a Silver Award in the 2020 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.