Spanish olive oil exports to the United States have dropped by 39 percent in the first half of 2020, newly analyzed data from the Association of Young Farmers (Asaja) shows.
The announcement came as the United States Trade Representative has opted to keep its 25 percent tariff on some packaged Spanish olive oil imports in place.See Also: Trade News
Spanish farmer and exporter associations have both blamed the tariffs, which came into force in October 2019, as the main reason for the sharp drop.
“As long as this issue is not resolved in accordance with the criteria of the WTO [World Trade Organization] ruling, the negotiations will never bear fruit in the elimination of tariffs that seriously harm Spanish agri-food products and, particularly, the Spanish olive oil sector,” the Spanish Association of Olive Oil Exporting, Industry and Commerce (Asoliva) wrote in a statement.
“[The sector] faces millions in losses as it is de facto expelled from the American market for the benefit of competing countries within the E.U. such as Italy, Greece and Portugal,” the trade association added.
Overall, Spanish olive oil exports to the U.S. reached 41,727 tons in the first half of the year. By comparison, Spain has shipped an average of 112,000 tons of olive oil to the U.S. in each of the past three years.
Over the past 12 months, Spain has slipped from being the second-largest exporter of packaged olive oils to the U.S. to the fourth largest. Additionally, Spain has fallen behind Tunisia as the second-largest supplier of bulk olive oil, which has been unaffected by tariffs, to the U.S.
As a result of shrinking U.S. demand, many of Spain’s producers and exporters have begun to look for new markets.
According to the same data analyzed by Asaja, exports to Canada jumped by 111 percent in the first six months of 2020, compared with the year before. Additionally, Spanish olive oil sales in Australia and Brazil grew by 63 percent and 15 percent, respectively.