`Olive Oil and Table Olive Imports Slip - Olive Oil Times

Olive Oil and Table Olive Imports Slip

By Paolo DeAndreis
Mar. 10, 2022 10:36 UTC

Olive oil imports in the world’s eight largest mar­kets fell by nearly 21 per­cent in the first four months of the 2021/22 crop year, com­pared to the same period in the pre­vi­ous one. Overall, imports reached 180,146 tons.

Table olive imports also dropped 14 per­cent in the five largest mar­kets, reach­ing 137,403 tons.

According to the lat­est fig­ures released by the International Olive Council (IOC), the United States, the largest olive oil importer, reported a 14.5 per­cent drop in the first months of the 2021/22 crop year, which begins in September.

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However, the most sig­nif­i­cant drops in olive oils imports were reported in Canada (-40 per­cent), Brazil (-27 per­cent) and Russia (-23 per­cent). Despite record-set­ting con­sump­tion last year, Australian imports also fell by 8.5 per­cent.

On the other side of the spec­trum, China expe­ri­enced a nearly eight per­cent increase in its olive oil imports, while Japan expe­ri­enced much slower growth of just 0.6 per­cent.

Imports to the European Union orig­i­nat­ing out­side the 27 mem­ber bloc also fell 45 per­cent.

Away from the cur­rent crop year, global olive oil imports in the first months of the sea­son have sub­stan­tially grown com­pared with pre­vi­ous years.

Looking at the his­tor­i­cal trend in the major import mar­kets, the United States imported 67,952 tons in 2015/16, far below the cur­rent 80,061 tons of imports.

In the same period, Brazilian olive oil imports rose from 12,772 tons to 24,443 tons, and Japan’s imports increased from 10,878 tons to 15,297 tons. China’s imports grew from 10,523 tons to 15,681 tons.

However, the IOC data also reveals the chal­lenges olive oil exporters face in many inter­na­tional mar­kets.

Imports vol­umes from the non‑E.U. coun­tries have been fol­low­ing a down­ward trend, from the 27,166 tons reported in the first months of the 2015/16 crop year to the cur­rent 19,254 tons.

Most of the imports in the first four months of the cur­rent sea­son come from Spain, the only major exporter that has seen its vol­umes grow com­pared to the same period of the pre­vi­ous year.

Spanish olive oil exports grew 5.2 per­cent, from 64,764 tons in 2020/21 to 68,108 tons in the cur­rent crop year. As a result, Spain remains the lead­ing exporter with a global mar­ket share of 38 per­cent.

Due to the chal­leng­ing sea­son for the Tunisian olive sec­tor, North Africa’s largest pro­ducer has seen its exports drop 52 per­cent com­pared with the same period of the pre­vi­ous year.

Portugal and Italy have also expe­ri­enced rel­e­vant decreases of 34 per­cent and 17 per­cent, respec­tively.

IOC fig­ures also show that 72 per­cent of all olive oil imports were related to the vir­gin olive oil cat­e­gory, which includes both extra vir­gin olive oils and vir­gin olive oils.

Meanwhile, non-vir­gin olive oils made up 21 per­cent of imports and olive pomace oil made up 6.6 per­cent.

In this first months of the 2021/22 crop year, the most rel­e­vant mar­kets for olive oils imports remain the United States, which account for 35 per­cent of the global fig­ures, fol­lowed by the European Union with 17 per­cent, Brazil (eight per­cent), Japan (six per­cent), Canada (five per­cent), China (four per­cent) and Australia (three per­cent).

Regarding table olive imports, the IOC reported that five mar­kets rep­re­sent 67 per­cent of all imports, with the United States being the most rel­e­vant importer with a 24 per­cent share.

Brazil fol­lows with 18 per­cent and the European Union with 17 per­cent. The U.S. has been the only importer which has seen the total fig­ure grow, from 45,309 tons in the first four months of the 2020/21 crop year to the cur­rent 46,941 tons.

Among the lead­ing table olive exporters, Morocco is the only one that has seen vol­umes grow­ing from last sea­son 17,221 tons to the cur­rent 19,756 tons. On the con­trary, the most sig­nif­i­cant decrease in exports has been reported in Egypt (-60 per­cent) and Peru (-33 per­cent).


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