`World Olive Oil Output Set to Fall 20 Percent

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World Olive Oil Output Set to Fall 20 Percent

Oct. 10, 2012
Julie Butler

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Global olive oil pro­duc­tion for 2012/13 is fore­cast to total about 2.75 mil­lion tons, down by about a fifth on last year’s all-time high of nearly 3.39 mil­lion tons, the Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil reports in its Sep­tem­ber mar­ket newslet­ter.

But while lead­ing pro­ducer Spain is the coun­try where out­put will fall the most — due to harsh frosts over win­ter then a severe sum­mer drought — a sea­son-on-sea­son increase of 18.6 per­cent is likely in Greece.

And Tunisia — which exports 70 per­cent of its olive oil — is also expect­ing an excel­lent har­vest, to the tune of 220,000 tons, the IOC said.

World olive oil mar­ket

Imports into China and Japan are still grow­ing strongly and up 31 and 18 per­cent respec­tively, the lat­est trade fig­ures show.

While import growth for the United States is more mod­est at 7 per­cent, it took 33,322 tons of olive oil in July alone — its high­est monthly total this sea­son — mak­ing China’s 5068 tons that month look small.

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The data for the first ten months of the 2011/12 crop year (Octo­ber to July) also show exports are up 9 per­cent each into Rus­sia and Brazil but down 7 per­cent in Canada and 2 per­cent in Aus­tralia.

Remark­ing on a 5 per­cent rise in imports into the Euro­pean Union, the IOC said that growth seems sur­pris­ing at first glance, given the excep­tion­ally high level of EU pro­duc­tion in 2011/12, but it can per­haps be explained by the expec­ta­tions of a poor har­vest in 2012/13 because imports started to rise in May 2012.”

Table olives

Table olive pro­duc­tion for 2012/13 is expected to be down 7 per­cent glob­ally on the pre­vi­ous sea­son, but Greece and Turkey are expect­ing increased out­put.

If Turkey achieves fore­cast pro­duc­tion of 410,000 tons this har­vest it will pass Egypt (300,000 tons) to be sec­ond after Spain in terms of the world’s biggest pro­duc­ers.

The fig­ures to July show that table olive imports are up 7 per­cent into Brazil and 1 per­cent in Aus­tralia and down 7 per­cent in Rus­sia and 4 per­cent in the US.

Pro­ducer prices

Pro­ducer prices for extra vir­gin olive oil started to rise sharply in Spain in late June, climb­ing 39 per­cent to aver­age €2.59/kg by late Sep­tem­ber. The IOC said the most plau­si­ble expla­na­tion was that this was caused by expec­ta­tions of a smaller har­vest there.

But it must also be remem­bered that prices have been very low in Spain through the last two crop years and that this increase brings them up to the level of March 2008” it said.

At €2.90/kg, the EVOO aver­age price in Italy is 9 per­cent down on the same time last sea­son but is nev­er­the­less up rel­a­tive to its €2.38/kg at the start of this August.

The gap between the price of refined olive oil and extra vir­gin olive oil is cur­rently about €0.43/kg in Spain and €0.42/kg in Italy.

The (EVOO) prices avail­able for Greece in late Sep­tem­ber are at the same level as the pre­vi­ous crop year (€2.04/kg), but here again prices have risen in the last two months, going up from €1.86/kg in late July – early Sep­tem­ber to reach the fig­ure of €2.04/kg in late Sep­tem­ber 2012” the IOC said.


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