`Chilean Olive Oil Exports Sharply Higher - Olive Oil Times

Chilean Olive Oil Exports Sharply Higher

Mar. 1, 2011
Charlie Higgins

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Following a steady trend led by its boom­ing wine mar­ket, Chile’s olive oil indus­try sig­nif­i­cantly expanded its reach last year, accord­ing to sta­tis­tics released by the national Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (ODEPA). The total value of Chilean olive oil exports reached $1.1 mil­lion in January 2011, rep­re­sent­ing an increase of 139 per­cent over num­bers recorded in January of last year.

The increase in olive oil exports is due to a num­ber of diverse rea­sons,” reflected Gustavo Rojas, direc­tor of the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies, or ODEPA. Among them are the inte­gra­tion of traders and pro­duc­ers, the open­ing of new mar­kets and the suc­cess of joint mar­ket­ing cam­paigns lead by Chileoliva and Prochile, par­tic­u­larly in the United States and Brazil.”

The main coun­tries that bought Chilean olive oil last year rep­re­sent five con­ti­nents. According to reports pub­lished by the min­istry of the inte­rior, the big con­sumers last year were the United States (49%), Italy (27%), Canada (14%), Brazil (2%), Japan (2%), China (1%), South Korea (1%), Cameroon (1%), Colombia (1%) and Taiwan (1%).

In terms of vol­ume, Chile exported an esti­mated 286 tons of olive oil in January 2011, a 226 per­cent increase over exports in the same month of the pre­vi­ous year.

Although Chile’s national olive oil indus­try has been active since 1952, it wasn’t until the late 90s that the coun­try began to invest heav­ily in this sec­tor and develop mar­ket­ing strate­gies for expor­ta­tion. By 2004 Chile had devel­oped a total of 3,700 hectares olive-grow­ing land and built 20 mills pro­duc­ing upwards of 1,500 tons of extra vir­gin oil per year. Today Chile boasts over 20,000 hectares of olive-grow­ing land and pro­duces roughly 8,500 tons of oil per year. Chile is expected to have over 35,000 hectares of olive vine­yards by the year 2014.

Chilean oil has become well known around the world for its qual­ity, and the coun­try pro­duces extra vir­gin oil exclu­sively. In recent years Chilean olive oils have racked up awards in inter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized olive oil com­pe­ti­tions through­out Italy, Spain and the United States.

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