`Uruguayan Producers Say Exports Will Triple Last Year's - Olive Oil Times

Uruguayan Producers Say Exports Will Triple Last Year's

Nov. 19, 2013
Charlie Higgins

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Uruguay’s olive oil indus­try has con­tin­ued to grow this year, fur­ther demon­strat­ing that the coun­try is well on its way to achiev­ing its goal of pro­duc­ing 10 mil­lion liters annu­ally by 2020.

Daniel Davidovics, direc­tor of the Uruguayan Olive Oil Association (Asociación Olivícola Uruguaya), said in a recent inter­view that Uruguay will have tripled its olive oil exports by the end of this year and that local con­sump­tion has also been on the rise.

Per capita con­sump­tion in Uruguay has increased from 200 grams just a few years ago to 450 this year. We’re still a long way from the 12 or 13 liters per capita that you see in cer­tain European coun­tries, but the impor­tant thing is that we keep grow­ing, that con­sumers keep learn­ing about the diverse prop­er­ties of olive oil and appre­ci­ate the excel­lent qual­ity that Uruguay can pro­duce,” Davidovics said.

While mar­ket­ing efforts to tar­get the domes­tic mar­ket have strength­ened in recent years, Uruguayan grow­ers are just as eager to send their prod­ucts abroad. Brazil, Canada and the United States are the pri­mary con­sumers of Uruguayan olive oil, though non-tra­di­tional mar­kets such as Japan are also show­ing promise.

Clearly Uruguay is tar­get­ing high end con­nois­seurs at home, but we’re also look­ing abroad. Over time we believe Uruguay will become a net exporter. Starting next year we’ll be pro­duc­ing higher val­ues than what the domes­tic mar­ket can con­sume,” Davidovics said.

National pro­duc­tion is also increas­ing steadily. This year pro­duc­tion vol­ume hit approx­i­mately 700,000 liters, exceed­ing Asolur Vice President Alberto Peverelli’s ear­lier pre­dic­tion of 550,000 liters. Davidovics says next year Uruguay should increase that fig­ure by an addi­tional 25 per­cent.

We’re esti­mat­ing that next year’s pro­duc­tion of extra vir­gin olive oil will hit one mil­lion liters, the most we’ve ever had,” he said.

Uruguay’s indus­try has become increas­ingly mobi­lized in recent years, as evi­denced by the 120 mem­bers that cur­rently belong to the Uruguayan Olive Oil Association (Asolur). Founded in 2004 with only twelve mem­bers, the orga­ni­za­tion receives gov­ern­ment fund­ing through the Office of Budget and Planning’s PACC pro­gram. Asolur was instru­men­tal in help­ing Uruguay become a mem­ber of the International Olive Council (IOC) this year, join­ing Argentina to become the sec­ond coun­try rep­re­sent­ing South America.


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