Imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil in the giant North American market fell six percent in the year to September, the latest market report from the International Olive Council shows.
Its first full-year figures for the 2012/13 crop year — October 2012 to September 2013 — also reveal drops of 10 percent in Australia and 8 percent in China but growth of 18 percent in Japan, 8 percent in Russia and 5 percent in Brazil on the previous season.
And imports into the European Union from non-EU countries were up 61 percent and trade within the EU down 10 percent for the first eleven months of the crop year compared to the same period in the 2011/12 season, a situation the IOC said was “obviously linked to the low level of EU olive oil production in 2012/2013.”
World table olive market
Table olive imports, meanwhile, rose by 8 percent each in the US, Brazil and Russia and by 5 percent in Canada, while remaining at the same level in Australia compared to the previous season. EU data to this September shows a rise of 2 percent in extra-EU/27 imports and of 3 percent in intra-EU-27 acquisitions.
Find the world's best olive oils near you.
Ex-mill prices for extra virgin olive oil
Spain: The IOC’s November newsletter also says that the prices paid to producers in Spain in late November — around €2.30/kg — were 1 percent lower than the same time a season earlier, “as markets reacted to the announcement of a good crop in the 2013/14 season…and the likelihood of olive oil storage being emptied as much as possible to make way for new season production.”
Italy: Prices started to rise in the last week of October and reached €2.65/kg by the end of November, up by 2 percent on the same time the year before.
Greece: At the end of September, prices in Greece stood at about €2.50 but then dropped until leveling off for about four weeks at €2.36 in late October/November only to pick up to €2.41 in the last week of November. “This price level is 15 percent higher than the same period a year earlier and probably mirrors the small crop expected for 2013/14,” the IOC said.
Refined olive oil prices
Prices for refined olive oil in Spain and Italy fell to €2.15/kg and €2.17/kg respectively, declines of of 5 percent and 9 percent on the same period a season ago. No data was available for Greece.
The difference between the price of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil lies at about €0.15/kg in Spain and €0.48/kg in Italy.
Virgin olive oil now dominates imports in Brazil
The newsletter also included a section on Brazil, where imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil grew five percent year-on-year to reach about 74,874t in 2012/13, of which Portugal provided 57 percent, Spain 25 percent, Argentina 9 percent and Italy six percent.
The vast majority of these imports — 73 percent — was virgin grade olive oil, up from just 39 percent a decade ago. In 2002/03, 61 percent was of the olive oil grade (customs heading 150990) but by last season this had ebbed to 25 percent.
Argentina is by far the main source of Brazil’s table olive imports, though it has lost some ground to the next biggest supplier, Spain.