Olive oil and olive pomace oil imports are up 38 percent in China and Japan, 32 percent in Australia, 19 percent in Russia, and 6 percent in the United States, Brazil and Canada, according to the International Olive Council’s latest market newsletter.

The growth relates to trade for last October and November – the first two months of the 2012/13 olive oil season – compared to the same period in 2011.

Overall for October and November 2012, the US imported 53,625 tons, Brazil 14,996 tons, Japan 8,468 tons, Canada 7,447 tons, Australia 7,379 tons, China 7,270 tons, and Russia 7,035 tons.

Meanwhile, though figures for November were not available for the European Union, those for October show extra-EU/27 imports were up 133 percent on the previous October and intra-EU imports up 9 percent.

ImporterOCT 2011NOV 2011OCT 2012NOV 2012

Olive oil imports (including olive-pomace oils) (t) (Source: IOC)

“The steep rise in extra-EU imports has been covered by imports from Tunisia (+11,380 tons), where there has been a good harvest, and from Morocco, which has had free access to the EU market since 1 October 2012,” the January newsletter, published February 11, said.

It included a section focused on Brazil, where olive oil and olive pomace oil imports totaled 71,000 tons last season – 9 percent above the year before – and Portugal provided more than half of this. Viewed over the five years to 2011/12, imports into Brazil have grown 62 percent.

Ex-mill prices for extra virgin olive oil

Prices in Spain reached €2.99/kg by the second week of December, up 72 percent on the year before and equal to the level of October 2006, the IOC said.

In Italy, prices rose within the space of two months from €2.61/kg in the last week of November to €3.16/kg in late January, 35 percent higher than the same time the previous season.


While in Greece, between the last week of December 2012 and third week of January 2013, producer prices went from €2.04/kg to €2.46/kg, a rise of 34 percent.

“As estimated crop deliveries to oil mills are confirmed, it looks as if the three markets expect production to be lower than what operators thought in late November/early December,” the IOC said.

The gap between the price of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil currently lies at about €0.24/kg in Spain and €0.49/kg in Italy.

World trade in table olives

Imports rose by 14 and 9 percent respectively in Australia and Russia in the first two months of the 2012/13 table olive crop year (October and November 2012). They held steady in Brazil and the U.S. but fell by 5 percent in Canada.

EU data for November 2012 were not available but the October figures show intra-EU/27 purchases increased 6 percent while extra-EU/27 ones slumped 2 percent on October 2011.

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