The forecast represents a 1.5‑percent reduction compared with the previous crop year when olive oil consumption reached a record-high 3,234,000 tons.
The projected decrease follows an increase of 5.8 percent in the 2019/20 year compared with the previous one, the IOC report said.See Also:Olive Council Sets Out to Study Global Consumption Trends
Overall, global olive oil consumption has increased by 91 percent from the 1990/91 crop year to the 2018/19 crop year, rising from 1,666,500 tons to slightly more than 3,057,000 tons.
In the 2019/20 season, the largest consumer was the European Union, accounting for almost half of global consumption. Other major consumers were the United States and Turkey, representing 12.4 percent and 5.4 percent of total consumption, respectively.
The leading E.U. producers also demonstrated an increased appetite for olive oil in terms of per capita consumption: the Greeks remain the world’s top olive oil consumers, taking in 11.5 kilograms of olive oil per year, while Spain and Italy rank second and third with 10.6 kilograms and 7.5 kilograms per capita per annum.
Outside of the European Union, Albania and Syria top the list with a per capita consumption of 4.7 kilograms and 4.4 kilograms, respectively.
In terms of world trade, large consumer markets such as the U.S., Japan and Canada have increased their imports of olive oil and olive pomace oil by 12 percent, eight percent and 28 percent over the first two months of the current crop year – October and November 2020 – compared to the same period last year.
In China, on the other hand, imports fell by 55 percent during the same period, but consumption is expected to continue growing in the world’s most populous nation.
The United States remains the world’s top importer of olive oil, bringing in an average of 36 percent of all global olive oil imports in the last six crop years, the IOC said.