When it comes to olive oil usage among the big Asian countries, Russians consumption seems practically Greek when compared with China and India.
While Russia and China both imported about 35,000 tons of olive oil last year, according to the latest report by the International Olive Council (IOC), Russia has about one-tenth of China’s population.
The average Russian consumed a respectable 250ml of olive oil last year while the average person in China consumed less than 2 tablespoons all year. Adoption in India is even more miniscule.
Since 2001, the IOC reported, Russian olive oil imports grew by ten-fold to nearly 35,000 tons. Spain provided most of the supply (56 percent), followed by Italy (30 percent) and Greece (9 percent).
However, if you look at this year-to-date, the IOC figures show, the trend has shifted with imports dropping 30 percent in the last three months of data over the same period last year.
As for China, after peaking in the 2011/2012 season at 46,000 tons, olive oil imports in the world’s most populous country have been sharply lower.
The IOC also reported that the price for Italian olive oil has stabilized at €5.94/kg as of the end of April. Prices for Spanish, Tunisian and Greek extra virgin olive oils have all shown an upward trend over the past 12 months.