A 20 percent hike in olive oil imports by Brazil, 11 percent by the EU, 7 percent by the USA and 5 percent by Canada offset falls in Japan (-12 percent) and Australia (-10 percent), according to the International Olive Council’s figures for the 2010/11 crop year.

Released on Monday in the IOC’s December newsletter, the figures show that the year from October 2010 to September 2011 was also notable for significant drops in reported producer prices.

By December last year, the producer price for extra virgin olive oil in Italy had fallen to €2.43/kg, down 18 percent on December 2010 and down 40 percent from last summer’s peak. And while Spain’s producers started ahead of those in Greece – with €2.43/kg versus €1.94/kg – in December 2010, by last month their fortunes had been reversed after a 11 percent price drop in Spain, to €1.79/kg, and 5 percent in Greece, to €1.84/kg.

Meanwhile the producer price for refined olive oil dropped 10 percent in Spain, to €1.65/kg, and 9 percent in Italy, to €1.79/kg.

Table Olives

Table olive consumption is forecast to rise 8.3 percent to 2.38 million tons in 2011/12, with the EU taking a 26 percent share, followed by Egypt (13 percent), Turkey (12 percent) and the USA (10 percent). Global consumption has risen an average of 4 percent every crop year for the last ten years, nevertheless this crop year kicked off with 703,500 tons in table olive stocks – up a massive 45.4 percent on the previous year – and is expected to end with 729,000 tons.

World table olive production leader Egypt is poised to deliver 500,000 tons in 2011/12, nearly a fifth of expected global production, which is expected to rise 5.1 percent to 2.56 million tons this crop year. Spain, the next biggest producer, should account for 482,100 tons.

Average producer prices have undergone a “noteworthy fall” in Italy (-25 percent), Morocco (-11 percent) and Greece (-30 percent) since 2009, the IOC reports.

World survey

The IOC also made public this week its decision to award the €91,000 contract for a global survey of olive oil promotion to Madrid-based Agerón International, a market research and internationalization processes consultancy.

Chosen from a field of three, its brief is to produce the equivalent of a worldwide Who’s Who of olive oil promotion.

The IOC says the knowledge gathered will help all industry members define opportunities, gaps to fill and markets to explore; and to avoid duplication.

Click here to view the newsletter PDF.

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