Spanish olive oil imports have reached a four-year high during the 2019/20 crop year, according to data published by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
A total of 208,500 tons of olive oil was imported into the country between October 2019 and June 2020, a 71 percent increase compared with the same period in the 2018/19 crop year and an 86 percent increase compared with the average of the previous four campaigns.See Also: Trade News
Cristóbal Cano, the head of olive oil for the Agrifood Cooperatives of Andalusia, told Diario de Sevilla that the increasing imports in Spain are a direct result of the tariffs that the United States has imposed on packaged imports of Spanish olive oil.
As a result of the 25 percent import duty, which was imposed last October, Spanish olive oil exports to the U.S. have fallen by more than one-third in the first six months of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
“Olive oil cannot go to the U.S. [packaged] with a Spanish brand, so very little is going,” Cano said. “And the companies that used to export have to import olive oil from other countries in order to keep their brand and position. That is the reason why there was a substantial increase in imports.”
Cano added that the majority of these imports are coming from Portugal and Tunisia.
In spite of the significant decrease in exports to the U.S., rising demand for Spanish oils in Australia, Brazil, Canada and fellow European Union member states means that there will be a moderate increase in exports in 2019/20.
The ministry estimates this figure to reach 1.36 million tons in the current crop year, 3.6 percent higher than the previous one and 13 percent more than the average of the previous four seasons.