Spanish Exports of Bottled Olive Oil to U.S. Drop 80 Percent

The news comes as Spain’s Food Information and Control Agency announced that production would be about 200,000 tons lower than initially estimated.
Andalusia, Spain
By Eduardo Hernandez
Feb. 24, 2021 17:04 UTC

Spanish bot­tled olive oil exports to the United States decreased by 80 per­cent in 2020 com­pared to 2019, accord­ing to Spain’s main agri­cul­tural coop­er­a­tive, Cooperativas Agro-ali­men­ta­rias.

Tariffs imposed in October 2019 by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion are blamed for the fall, which dam­aged the Spanish olive oil sec­tor dra­mat­i­cally.

The 25-per­cent tar­iffs on pack­aged Spanish vir­gin and non-vir­gin olive oils and sev­eral types of green table olives remain in place even after Trump left office in January.

Olive oil orig­i­nat­ing in Spain that arrives pack­aged monthly in the United States does not even reach 700 tons. Before the impo­si­tion of tar­iffs, these vol­umes were about 10 times higher,” said Rafael Sánchez de Puerta, the pres­i­dent of Cooperativas Agro-ali­men­ta­rias. In fact, we would have to go back to the early 1990s to find sim­i­lar fig­ures.”

See Also:Trade News

According to trade data from the U.S. Department of Commerce ana­lyzed by the coop­er­a­tive, Tunisia and Portugal have been the main bene­fac­tors of the U.S. tar­iffs. Meanwhile, Italy remains the lead­ing bot­tled olive oil exporter.

Tunisian olive oil exports to the U.S. rose by 700 per­cent in 2020, while Portuguese exports grew by 800 per­cent.

As the months go by, our role in the United States dimin­ishes,” Sánchez de Puerta said. The unfair tar­iffs that we face have taken us out of the most impor­tant mar­ket out­side the European Union, after hav­ing made mil­lions in invest­ments dur­ing the last two decades.”

While President Joe Biden mainly focusses on his domes­tic agenda, pro­duc­ers con­tinue to pres­sure national and local author­i­ties to work with the Biden Administration to end the tar­iffs.

The dis­ap­point­ing trade news comes as Spain’s Food Information and Control Agency announced that the final esti­mates for the 2020 olive har­vest reached 1.40 mil­lion to 1.45 mil­lion tons.

While still above the rolling five-year aver­age, the yield was smaller than ini­tially thought.

The major­ity of the export decrease came as a result of revised fig­ures from Andalusia, which said that the region would pro­duce 250,000 fewer tons than ini­tially esti­mated. Damage from Storm Filomena in cen­tral Spain also fac­tored into the pro­duc­tion drop.


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