Olive oil imports into the United States bounced back from April to June, finally tipping the world’s biggest market back into growth – of four percent – over last season.

New figures from the International Olive Council (IOC) also show that shipments are up 19 percent in Canada and 5 percent in Japan, but the news is not as good in other major markets: Imports are down 18 percent in China, 3 percent in Brazil and 3 percent in Australia.

The IOC data covers olive oil and olive pomace oil imports for October 2013 to June 2014, the first nine months of the 2013/14 crop year, and were published in its latest newsletter.

Data for Russia was available only until April, 2014 but showed an 8 percent gain compared to imports over the same seven months last season. Similarly, EU data was available to May only, but intra-EU acquisitions were up 12 percent on the same period a year ago, however, imports from outside the EU were down more than half, a fall the IOC said seemed logical, “given Spain’s high production.”

China and Korea

The IOC said Chinese imports of olive oil and olive pomace grew exponentially in the decade or so to 2011/12 but shrank 6 percent the following season – dipping from 45,058 tons to 42,379 tons — only to suffer a further “sharp decrease” in the first seven months of this season. Despite a recovery this May–July, “everything seems to indicate that (Chinese) imports will be lower than in 2011/12,” the IOC said.

On the positive side, South Korea imported just over 13,000 tons in the 10 months to July — up a third on the same period last season.

Source: IOC

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