Tunisia is on pace to export a record-setting 340,000 tons of olive oil in the 2019/20 crop year, according to figures published by the country’s National Olive Oil Board (ONH).
Chokri Bayoudh, the CEO of the ONH, told the local TAP news agency that the exports would be worth more than two billion dinar ($730 million) and the revenue created by the sales would make up roughly 4.25 percent of the government’s budget.See Also: Trade News
While the vast majority of these exports are made up of bulk olive oil sales, Bayoudh pointed out that sales of packaged olive oil are also on the rise.
“Exports of packaged olive oil rose to 20,000 tons. We hope that they will reach 25,000 tons by the end of this season,” Bayoudh said.
For local producers, this is significant as packaged olive oil sales are worth 12 dinar ($4.40) per bottle, whereas olive oil sold in bulk is worth only six dinar ($2.20) per kilogram.
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“During the lockdown that was decreed in March and April, we were able to export an average of 45,000 tons per month,” he said.
Prior to this year, the highest recorded level of exports was 304,000 tons in the 2014/15 crop year. Since then, Tunisia has exported an average of 140,000 tons of olive oil per annum.
According to Bayoudh, roughly 80 percent of Tunisia’s olive oil exports are destined for the European Union. However, the world’s fourth largest producer of olive oil has also increased its market share in the United States, Canada, India and China.