new-figures-show-growth-in-imports-and-higher-prices-for-italian-olive-oilThe International Olive Council released figures today showing olive oil imports into China increased by 60 percent for the 2009/2010 season for a total of 20,565 tons,  89 percent of it coming from Europe.   Spain was the main supplier (42 percent), followed by Italy (39 percent), Greece (7 percent) and Portugal (1 percent). Other exporters to China were Syria (4 percent), Australia (3 percent) and Turkey (2 percent).

Extra virgin olive oil accounted for 76 percent of China’s import volume in the period, followed by refined olive oil and olive pomace oil with equal 12% shares.

Russia imported nearly 25,000 tons of olive oil in 2009/10, for an increase of 50 percent on the previous season. 93 percent of imports were from EU countries, the principal suppliers being Spain (62 percent), Italy (25 percent) and Greece (6 percent). The shares of Tunisia and Turkey were 4% and 3%, respectively. The breakdown by product category for 2009/10 shows shares of 62 percent for extra virgin, 28 percent for refined and 10 percent for olive pomace oil.

India only imported 3,374 tons of olive oil, for an increase of 26 percent. Most (60 percent) was supplied by Spain with 34 percent from Italy. Turkey accounted for 5 percent of India’s imports. Extra virgin accounted for only 19 percent; the remaining 81 percent was refined olive oil.

Over the first three cumulative months of the season (October – December) olive oil imports rose 20 percent in Australia and 11 percent into the United States.  In Japan imports dropped 7 percent from the same period a year ago.

Olive oil prices dropped 8 percent in Spain compared with the previous year to €2.01/kg, and 4 percent in Greece (€1.95/kg) while in Italy they moved in the opposite direction, going up by 14 percent to €3.07/kg. Recent weeks have seen a steep rise in prices in Italy confirming, the IOC said, the growing distance between the prices paid to producers in Italy and those paid in Spain and Greece.

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