`'Worrisome' Fall in World Olive Oil Trade


'Worrisome' Fall in World Olive Oil Trade

Mar. 10, 2014
Julie Butler

Recent News

Olive oil imports are down in all the major world mar­kets, a sit­u­a­tion the Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil (IOC) finds alarm­ing.

IOC fig­ures for the first three months of the 2013/14 olive oil sea­son — Octo­ber to Decem­ber 2013 — show trade into the biggest two mar­kets out­side the Euro­pean Union (EU), the United States (US) and Brazil, have fallen a tenth on the same period last year.

And the declines in imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil by the next biggest buy­ers are: Japan 1 per­cent, China 20 per­cent, Canada 8 per­cent, Aus­tralia 25 per­cent and Rus­sia 9 per­cent.

This is despite the IOC pre­dict­ing In its trade fore­casts late last Novem­ber that sales into these mar­kets would main­tain their vol­umes this sea­son except in the cases of the US, China and Aus­tralia, where mod­est growth of nearly 0.7, 2.6 and 5.2 per­cent respec­tively was expected.

Accord­ing to the IOC’s Feb­ru­ary mar­ket newslet­ter, extra-EU imports in Octo­ber and Novem­ber were down 14 per­cent and intra-EU acqui­si­tions down 4 per­cent on the same two months the pre­vi­ous sea­son. (EU data for Decem­ber 2013 was not yet avail­able,)

IOC: sit­u­a­tion wor­ri­some and requires close scrutiny


The IOC took some heart from the fact that in com­par­i­son with Decem­ber 2012, imports were up last Decem­ber in Aus­tralia, Brazil, Canada and Rus­sia. How­ever, the reverse was the case in the US, Japan and China, the world’s 1st, 3rd and 4th biggest importers in terms of vol­ume out­side the E.U.

Olive oil and olive pomace oil trade fig­ures from the Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil Feb­ru­ary 2014 mar­ket newslet­ter

The imme­di­ate inter­pre­ta­tion is that avail­able sup­plies in the new sea­son were not at hand for export in the first two months of 2013/14 (Octo­ber and Novem­ber 2013), par­tic­u­larly in Spain because of its low level of pro­duc­tion in 2012/13, but this does not seem valid for the Decem­ber fig­ures for China, Japan (to a lim­ited extent) and the United States (where the Novem­ber fig­ures were bet­ter), which are three key importer coun­tries.

This sit­u­a­tion is wor­ri­some and will require close scrutiny of the fig­ures for Jan­u­ary 2014,” the IOC said in its newslet­ter.

World trade in table olives

Table olive imports in the first three months of the 2013/14 crop year (Octo­ber – Decem­ber 2013) rose by 4 per­cent in the United States and 1 per­cent in Aus­tralia but fell by 14 per­cent in Canada, 11 per­cent in Rus­sia and 9 per­cent in Brazil.

EU data for Decem­ber 2013 was not avail­able but in the first two months of the table olive crop year, intra-EU acqui­si­tions slumped 11 per­cent and imports from non-EU coun­tries by 7 per­cent.

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