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.

By Paul Conley
Mar. 6, 2017 12:15 UTC

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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