`World Olive Oil Imports Fall - Olive Oil Times

World Olive Oil Imports Fall

Feb. 10, 2014
Julie Butler

Recent News

Dismal trade data marks the start of the 2013/14 olive oil sea­son with imports down in all the major mar­kets, accord­ing to the International Olive Council.

The num­bers for the first two months of the new crop year — last October and November — show that com­pared to the same months the pre­vi­ous year, imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil were down 37 per­cent in Australia, 22 per­cent in China, 19 per­cent in Brazil, 18 per­cent in Russia, 12 per­cent in Canada, 6 per­cent in the United States — the world’s biggest olive oil mar­ket — and 1 per­cent in Japan.

The IOC said in its January newslet­ter, pub­lished today, it pre­sumed the data reflected the drop in pro­duc­tion in 2012/13 because it was too early in October and November for new sea­son olive oil to be pro­duced and exported. It is impor­tant to wait and see what the December 2013 fig­ures have to say,” it said.

EU data was avail­able for October only and showed a fall of 7 per­cent in intra-EU acqui­si­tions and no change in extra-EU imports.

In its December newslet­ter the IOC had reported the first full-year fig­ures for the 2012/13 crop year — October 2012 to September 2013 — which revealed imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil had dropped 10 per­cent in Australia, 8 per­cent in China and 6 per­cent in the U.S. but risen 18 per­cent in Japan, 8 per­cent in Russia and 5 per­cent in Brazil on the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

World olive oil pro­duc­tion fell to 2.4 mil­lion tons in 2012/13 — largely due to drought in Spain — down from 3.3 mil­lion tons the pre­vi­ous sea­son. The IOC’s fore­cast for the cur­rent sea­son is just under 3.1 mil­lion tons.

Source: International Olive Council

IOC queries low ex-mill prices in Spain

In its sum­mary of pro­ducer prices, the IOC said in recent months pro­ducer prices for extra vir­gin olive oil had been on the decline in Spain. After drop­ping to €1.97/kg in the sec­ond week of January, they picked up slightly in the next two weeks, reach­ing €2.06/kg by the end of the month, but despite this recov­ery, prices were still 31 per­cent lower than the same time a year ear­lier.”

At first glance, this trend appears to mir­ror the recov­ery in the level of Spain’s pro­duc­tion but it does not seem to take into account the lower out­put in Greece and Tunisia, both of which com­pete with Italy for Spanish oil. It will be remem­bered that prices had started to decrease in April 2013 and gath­ered down­ward momen­tum in September 2013, per­haps as a reac­tion to the announce­ments of a good har­vest in 2013/14,” it said.

Poor har­vest in Greece favors prices in Italy

Meanwhile in Italy, prices fell until the begin­ning of last December, then started to rise, reach­ing €2.95/kg by the end of January, though still 31 per­cent lower than the same time a year ear­lier. This price move­ment is prob­a­bly linked to the har­vest in Greece, which will be small and will not put pres­sure on prices on the Italian mar­ket,” the IOC said.

Producer prices in Greece have been hold­ing steady at €2.46/kg since the mid­dle of last December, up by 2 per­cent on the same period of the pre­ced­ing sea­son. In all prob­a­bil­ity, this level ties in with the lower level of Greek pro­duc­tion for 2013/14. It should be noted that in September 2013, prices held at €2.50/kg for three con­sec­u­tive weeks, prob­a­bly already reflect­ing the expected drop in pro­duc­tion in 2013/ 14,” the newslet­ter said.

Table olives

Imports in October and November 2013, the first two months of the new table olive sea­son, rose 2 per­cent in the U.S. but fell 7 per­cent in Russia, 5 per­cent each in Canada and Brazil, and 1 per­cent in Australia. The EU data for November was not avail­able but that for October showed intra-EU acqui­si­tions down 14 per­cent and imports from non-EU coun­tries 5 per­cent.

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