Olive Oil Trade Skyrockets in Key Markets

The first few months of the crop year saw a rising demand for olive oil in key markets across the globe, according to figures released today by the International Olive Council.

Mar. 6, 2017
By Paul Conley

Recent News

In the first three months of the crop year (October-December), sales of olive oil and olive pomace oil jumped a whop­ping 74 per­cent across eight major mar­kets (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Russia, the United States, and the European Union), accord­ing to the lat­est infor­ma­tion from the International Olive Council (IOC)

Australia led the way with a 51 per­cent increase. 

But the most inter­est­ing news was in China, where imports rose 42 per­cent in the three-month period. That fol­lows a 12 per­cent year-over-year increase. 

The big win­ner in the China trade was Spain, which accounted for a full 81 per­cent of the total. Italy was in sec­ond with 13 per­cent, while Greece was a dis­tant third with 2 percent. 

Things look slightly less pos­i­tive for table olives. 

Imports rose in Brazil (21 per­cent) and Australia (12 per­cent) in the first four months of the crop year (September — December), but imports to Canada fell 5 per­cent, while imports to the U.S. were flat. 

In E.U. trade, results for December were not yet avail­able. And results for the first three months of the crop year (September to November) were mixed. Intra-EU imports fell 3 per­cent, while extra-EU imports rose 6 percent. 

Olive Oil Prices 

Prices reached €3.85/kg ($4.08) in Spain by the end of February, a jump of 19 per­cent from the prior year. But com­pared with prices in the third week of August, prices are down 9 percent. 

In Italy, prices have been ris­ing steadily since mid-August and hit €6.07/kg ($6.43) at the end of February — a rise of 67 per­cent year-over-year. 

In Greece, have held sta­ble in recent months, and now stand at €3.46/kg ($3.66), a 15 per­cent rise from a year earlier. 

In Tunisia, prices shook off a period of sta­bil­ity and began to rise in late January. By the end of February, prices stood at €4.08/kg ($4.32), a 17 per­cent increase year-on-year. 

Prices for refined oils gen­er­ally track those of extra vir­gin olive oil. But by the end of February, some dis­crep­an­cies appeared. 

In Spain, the price dif­fer­ence was €0.12/kg ($0.13) at the close of February. But in Italy, the dif­fer­ence stood at €2.23/kg ($2.36).

Fighting Diabetes

In its lat­est monthly newslet­ter, the IOC noted that the World Health Organization believes that dia­betes will be the sev­enth lead­ing cause of death world­wide by 2030. The Mediterranean diet, noted for its high rate of olive oil use, is one of the best ways to pre­vent and con­trol diabetes.

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