`Spain Selling Less, Buying More Olive Oil - Olive Oil Times

Spain Selling Less, Buying More Olive Oil

Apr. 25, 2013
Julie Butler

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With its har­vest now basi­cally over and a mil­lion tons below that of last sea­son, the world’s lead­ing olive oil pro­ducer imported more olive oil in March, and exported less, than in any other month in the last four years, new fig­ures show.

According to the Spanish Olive Oil Agency’s (AAO) lat­est mar­ket report, Spain made just 10,200 tons of olive oil last month, bring­ing to 607,000 tons its total so far for 2012/13. Production remains down 62 per­cent on last season’s record of 1.61 mil­lion tons.

Meanwhile, imports already stand at 61,300 tons for the first half of this sea­son, October-March, which is more than the total Spain bought in any of the pre­vi­ous four sea­sons. In March, Spain imported 16,000 tons of olive oil and in February nearly 14,000 tons, accord­ing to the AAO. The monthly aver­age for the last four years is 3,800 tons and the most in any month was 10,000 tons, in May last year.

And exports have gone the other way. Spain shipped just 35,000 tons of olive oil in March. This (pro­vi­sional) total is the low­est for any month in the AAO fig­ures since 2008/2009. Overall, exports this sea­son are down a fifth and domes­tic sales 13 per­cent below aver­age for the same period.

Most com­men­ta­tors attribute this decline to the fact ex-mill olive oil prices are now about €1 higher than this time last year.

Spain’s olive oil stocks stood at 823,200 tons at the end of last month, a quar­ter under the four-year aver­age.

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