Imports into Italy of olive oil from Spain, Greece and other EU countries have soared 40 percent in the last three years to reach 537,503 tons in 2010/11.

Italy remains by far the main destination for intra-EU olive oil exports, taking just over half of the total, according to the International Olive Council’s market newsletter for January (PDF).

Focusing this month on intra-EU olive oil trade, the newsletter reports France is the next biggest importer, with 12 percent, Portugal 9 percent, the UK and Germany 7 percent each, Spain 3 percent, and Belgium and the Netherlands 2 percent each.
See more: IOC Newsletter
Of the non-producer EU countries, Germany and the UK topped the import ranking with 63,542 tons and 61,999 tons respectively in 2010/11, up 12 percent and 4 percent respectively on 2007/08. Poland has doubled its import volume over the same period to reach 9,831 tons. Notable increases also occurred in Denmark, up 33 percent to 5964 tons, Romania up 119 percent to 5810t and Finland up 60 percent to 2597 tons.

Intra-EU exports

Spain is the leading exporter, accounting for 72 percent of the intra-EU total. In 2010/11, it shifted 627,043t within the EU, the vast majority, 65 percent, to Italy, followed by Portugal, 13 percent, France, 10 percent, and the UK, 6 percent.

Italy was the second biggest exporter in 2010/11, with 16 percent of the total. It sends a third of its intra-EU exports to Germany, followed by France, 23 percent, and the UK, 13 percent.

The third biggest exporter, Greece, accounts for 9 percent of total EU exports. In 2010/11 it exported 79,575 tons — 84 percent of which went to Italy.

While total intra-EU imports in 2010/11 were 974,456 tons – up 23 percent over 2007/08 — exports totaled just 882,735 tons. As observed in the newsletter, “Notably, the gap between intra-EU imports and exports has shot up from 41,021 tons in 2007/08 to 172,165 tons in 2010/11.” No explanation was offered, however.

The IOC said the intra-EU trade data came from the EUROSTAT database and the 2010/11 figures were provisional and likely to change.

World olive oil trade

International trade figures for October and November, the first two months in the 2011/12 crop year, show imports are up 41 percent in China, 12 percent in the US, 11 percent in Japan and 6 percent in Brazil but down 7 percent in Australia and 1 percent in Canada.

Producer prices

Compared with the same period a year ago, prices for extra virgin olive oil have slipped 13 percent in Spain (€1.74/kg), 5 percent in Greece (€1.84/kg) and 23 percent in Italy (€2.35/kg).

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