The International Olive Council is investigating why its data on olive oil trade in the rapidly-growing market of India show most imports are of refined olive oil while those of the Indian olive Association show that olive pomace oil predominates.
As reported in Olive Oil Times earlier this month, Indian olive oil imports last season rose 74 percent on 2010/11, though to a total of just 9,400 tons.
According to data in the IOC’s April newsletter, nearly three quarters of India’s imports were classified as olive oil grade, 18 percent virgin and 9 percent pomace.
But according to the Indian Olive Association, a much higher proportion of the imports were olive pomace oil.
Based on figures from Italy’s National Federation of Oil Traders (Federolio) covering imports from Italy and Spain — which account for the vast majority of India’s olive oil and olive pomace oil imports — the Indian association said that in the 2011-12 crop year, virgin oils accounted for 18 percent of the imports, olive oil for 31 percent and olive pomace oil for 51 percent, compared to 21, 41 and 37 percent respectively in 2010-11.
“Federolio’s data should be correct as it is based on customs data of Spain and Italy,” Indian Olive Association secretary Shabnam Pareek told Olive Oil Times.
Asked for comment, an IOC spokesperson said that its data came from official sources in importer countries.
“In the specific case of India, it is the Ministry of Commerce of India that facilitates the data to Global Trade Information Services, which is the source that provides the imports figures for the IOC. In the case of export data, it is the exporting countries themselves which provide the data directly to the IOC.”
“The IOC takes note of the discrepancies and will submit the issue to its members countries to try to pinpoint the origin of the differences,” the IOC said.