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Global virgin olive oil imports totalled 1.4M tonnes, a -7.0% decrease against the previous year.
Global virgin olive oil imports totalled 1.4M tonnes, a -7.0% decrease against the previous year.

Key insights into the global olive oil market

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

By Ivan Borovoi, Market Analyst, IndexBox, Inc. - Nov 14th 2018, 12:27

According to the report "World - Olive Oil (Virgin) - Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights", recently published by IndexBox, in 2017, global virgin olive oil imports totalled 1.4M tonnes, a -7.0% decrease against the previous year.  

The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.7% over the period from 2007 to 2017 and the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being observed throughout the analysed period. The pace of growth was the most rapid in 2010, when it surged by 15% year-to-year, following the global post-crisis recovery. Over the period under review, global virgin olive oil imports peaked at 1.6M tonnes in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2017, imports remained at a somewhat lower level due to the consumption downturn in the two main consuming countries – Spain and Italy.

In value terms, virgin olive oil imports totalled $6.7B in 2017 (IndexBox estimates). The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +3.5% from 2007 to 2017 and the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations in certain years. Over the period under review, global virgin olive oil imports reached its peak figure level in 2017, and are likely to continue their pattern of growth in the near future, as the import price is expected to rise following supply-side shocks in Italy and Spain; those countries suffered olive bacterial disease and dry weather which adversely affected the crop.

China and Japan remain the fastest growing importers

In 2017, Italy (454K tonnes) appeared as the main importer of olive oil (virgin), comprising 32% of total imports. The two main suppliers to Italy are Greece and Spain, together accounting for over 87% of virgin olive oil imports. The U.S. (227K tonnes) ranks second in terms of global imports with a 16% share, followed by France (8%), Spain (7%), and Portugal (5%). Germany (55K tonnes), Brazil (55K tonnes), Japan (41K tonnes), the UK (40K tonnes), and China (33K tonnes) assumed the weakest share in terms of total imports.

From 2007 to 2017, the most notable rate of growth with regard to imports, amongst the leading importing countries, was attained by China (+19.1% per year), and Japan (+9.5% per year) where healthy eating habits are gaining popularity and are expected to drive virgin olive oil consumption growth in the long term. Due to the recently-adopted 2018 Japan-EU free trade agreements, the scope of consumption is expected to escalate even faster, but this would be partly offset by the still high and rising import price.

Spain Emerged As The Largest Olive Oil Exporter

Global exports amounted to 1.4M tonnes in 2017, dropping by -4.3% against the previous year. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.2% from 2007 to 2017; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations over the period under review, including the relative slowdown noted since 2014. Overall, the most recent export fluctuations reflect the consumption and production downturn in Spain and Italy – the top 2 consuming countries. The pace of growth was the most rapid in 2014, with an increase of 18% year-to-year. In that year, global virgin olive oil exports attained peaked in terms of volume at 1.6M tonnes. From 2015 to 2017, global virgin olive oil export growth failed to regain its strength.

In 2017, Spain (723K tonnes) represented the largest exporter of olive oil (virgin), accounting for 52% of total exports. Spain mainly exports to Italy and the USA. The latter is also the most significant export market for Italian virgin olive oil. Italy (236K tonnes) took the second position in the ranking, followed, somewhat lagging behind, by Portugal (108K tonnes), Greece (106K tonnes), and Tunisia (86K tonnes). All these countries together occupied an approx. 39% share of total exports.

Exports from Spain increased at an average annual rate of +3.8% from 2007 to 2017. At the same time, Portugal (+19.3%), Greece (+2.1%), and Italy (+1.2%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Portugal emerged as the fastest growing exporter in the world, with a CAGR of +19.3% from 2007-2017. The Portuguese relative export and production boom is mostly a result of the Rural Development Program that attracted subsidies and investment in this sector, with olive grove plantations rapidly expanding and technologies quickly developing as a result.

By contrast, Tunisia (-6.1%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. While the share of Tunisia (5%) increased significantly in terms of global exports from 2007-2017, the share of Italy (-1.9%), Portugal (-6.4%), and Spain (-16.1%) displayed a negative dynamic. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analysed period.


Full report: World - Olive Oil (Virgin) - Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights
 

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