`Bulk Oil Sector to Gather at First World Fair - Olive Oil Times

Bulk Oil Sector to Gather at First World Fair

Feb. 6, 2012
Julie Butler

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The orga­niz­ers of the first World Bulk Oil Exhibition (WBOE) — to be held in Madrid on April 12 and 13 — hope it will help dis­pel a wide­spread belief that bot­tled olive oil is always bet­ter than bulk.

Santiago Botas, man­ag­ing direc­tor of the event, told EFEAGRO that these days many bulk pro­duc­ers aim to deliver qual­ity, par­tic­u­larly in niche mar­kets such as that for organic olive oil. And in the United States, there is a trend towards trade in branded’ bulk oil.

However, as is also the case in the pre-pack­aged mar­ket, bulk pro­duc­ers are plagued by poor prices. Botas says poten­tial ways to add value in the bulk sec­tor include dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion accord­ing to olive vari­ety (such as arbe­quina or picual), the ter­roir” (as in the wine sec­tor), fea­tures of the pro­duc­tion process, and the organolep­tic or physic­o­chem­i­cal qual­i­ties of the bulk product.

Why focus on bulk?

The edi­ble oil exhi­bi­tion fol­lows in the wake of the suc­cess­ful World Bulk Wine Exhbition (WBWE), the fourth edi­tion of which will be held in Amsterdam from December 19 – 20. Both are orga­nized by Spanish com­pany Pomona Keepers, which says the WBWE fueled a real rev­o­lu­tion in the bulk wine sec­tor” and lifted the veil on a mar­ket that had been very much veiled in secrecy. Bulk accounts for about a third of inter­na­tional trade in wine.

Meanwhile, the oil ver­sion is mar­keted as born of the need to cre­ate a meet­ing place for inter­na­tional bulk traders of culi­nary oils, and as a show­case of the qual­ity and vari­ety of the bulk oil sector.

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Its objec­tives include help­ing improve the prof­itabil­ity of edi­ble oils sold in bulk, bring­ing together pro­duc­ers and end pur­chasers from all the major world mar­kets, achiev­ing a bet­ter and more effi­cient sup­ply chain, and open­ing up new mar­kets for bulk oil.

Although cov­er­ing all edi­ble oils, the first edi­tion will focus on olive oil, says Botas.

World bulk trade

According to the WBOE dossier, Spain is by far the world’s main sup­plier of bulk edi­ble oil but the other key pro­duc­ers are Greece, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Turkey and Argentina.

Italy is the world’s largest buyer. Imports make up their domes­tic mar­ket deficit and are also re-exported as bot­tled oil to the rest of the world,” the dossier says. France and Portugal are other big buyers.

According to International Olive Council data, bulk accounts for a third of olive oil imports in the United States — the biggest non-EU buyer of olive oil.

EFEAGRO recently reported that of Spanish olive oil imported in 2011 by China — on the verge of replac­ing the U.S. as the main non-EU buyer of Spanish olive oil — about 30 per­cent was in bulk.

It says Spain’s main bulk olive oil com­pa­nies are Hojiblanca, Acesur, Migasa, Oleoestepa, Jaencoop and Borges. Other lead­ing oper­a­tors are Portugal’s Sovena, Bunge and Cargill in North America, the Italians Pietro Coriccelli, Monini and Farchioni, and the Japanese trader Itochu.

Although most of Spain’s olive oil exports are still in bulk, trade in pack­aged oil – in con­tain­ers of less than 5 liters usu­ally mar­keted directly to con­sumers, restau­rants, and gourmet shops – has dou­bled in the last five years and the upward trend continues.



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