`Imports Up Sharply in Japan and China, Modest Gain in U.S. - Olive Oil Times

Imports Up Sharply in Japan and China, Modest Gain in U.S.

Apr. 12, 2013
Julie Butler

Recent News

Olive oil imports are up 31 per­cent in Japan, 24 per­cent in China, 15 per­cent in Canada, 14 per­cent in Brazil, and 9 per­cent in Australia and Russia, for the first four months of the 2012/13 crop year, accord­ing to the lat­est data from the International Olive Council (IOC).

In its March newslet­ter, the IOC also said that com­pared to the same period in 2011/12, imports had risen 3 per­cent in the United States (U.S.) — a mar­ket which enjoyed growth of 9 per­cent last sea­son and is the world’s biggest olive oil con­sumer after Italy and Spain.

In January, the U.S. imported 24,570 tons, while China took an unsea­son­ably high 6,360 tons, Brazil 5,500 tons and Japan 4,253 tons.

Imports up 66 per­cent into E.U.

Meanwhile, the drop in European Union (E.U.) pro­duc­tion this sea­son is oblig­ing its mem­ber states to buy out­side the E.U., the IOC said.

Imports of olive oil into the E.U. for last October-December were up two-thirds on the same period a year before.Tunisia accounted for about 73 per­cent of the nearly 29,000 tons of imports — most of it vir­gin grade — into the E.U. in that quar­ter, and Morocco nearly a fifth. Italy took most of the Tunisian imports and Spain most of the Moroccan oil.

E.U. trad­ing trends

In a sec­tion on E.U. trad­ing trends, the IOC said lead­ing world player Spain exported about 956,400 tons in 2011/12, of which 70 per­cent was sold within the E.U., Italy alone bought nearly 405,000 tons from Spain.

Italy, on the other hand, sells nearly two-thirds of its olive oil beyond the E.U., mainly to the U.S.

The newslet­ter also shows intra‑E.U. exports (olive oil sold to one E.U. coun­try from another) totaled nearly 988,800 tons in 2011/12 but sep­a­rate IOC fig­ures put the total declared for intra-EU imports at about 1.07 mil­lion tons — a dis­crep­ancy of more than 81,000 tons.

In its February newslet­ter, the IOC expressed con­cern about the grow­ing gap in these fig­ures — which already stood at 24,033 tons for the first two months of the cur­rent sea­son — and said it would need to be tracked.

Olive oil prices

Ex-mill prices for extra vir­gin olive oil now lie at €2.97/kg in Spain, up 70 per­cent on a year ago.

In the last week of March they stood at €3.21/kg in Italy and €2.04/kg in Greece.

The dif­fer­ence between the price of refined olive oil and extra vir­gin olive oil cur­rently lies at about €0.27/kg in Spain and €0.39/kg in Italy, the IOC said.

Table Olives

Table olive imports in the first four months of the 2012/13 crop year (October 2012 – January 2013) rose 24 per­cent in Canada, 11 per­cent in Australia, 10 per­cent in Russia, and 6 per­cent in Brazil.

Though they fell by 1 per­cent in the U.S., it remains the biggest non‑E.U. buyer and has this sea­son been import­ing an aver­age of more than 10,000 tons of table olives a month.

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