Weekly Product Updates

W39: Olive & Olive Oil Update

Olive Oil
Published Oct 6, 2023

In W39 in the olive and olive oil landscape, Europe is facing a severe olive oil shortage due to consecutive years of extreme weather, particularly heat waves in the Mediterranean region, which forced European producers to import olives from South America. According to the International Olive Council, global olive oil production will decline to 2.4 million metric tons (mmt) in the 2023/24 season, falling short of the demand of around 3.0 mmt. Major producers such as Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Morocco have all been affected, with Italy's production for 2022/23 nearing its historical minimum at 200 thousand metric tons (mt), and Spain expected to produce less than 900 thousand mt in 2024, marking a significant drop from previous years.

In Spain, olive oil prices experienced a temporary decline during W39, but the overall trend indicates a continued increase in the coming weeks and months. Factors such as drought, reduced harvests, and higher production costs have contributed to this historic rise in olive oil prices, with supermarket prices surpassing USD 10.57 (EUR 10) per liter. The Provincial Association of Farmers and Ranchers (APAG) in Guadalajara has expressed concerns about potential olive thefts during the 2023/24 campaign, driven by the current high price of olive oil. Therefore, APAG president Juan José Laso and general secretary Antonio Torres have offered their collaboration to the Civil Guard to prevent and control such thefts.

Additionally, Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) brands are gaining a stronger foothold in the United States (US) market, particularly in New York, Georgia, and Florida, where the average price ranges from USD 12.47 to USD 18.15/liter. In Oregon, Washington, and Michigan EVOO is positioned as a premium product with prices around USD 25/liter. American brands dominate the competition with a 39.5% market share, followed by Italian brands at 23.7%. Spanish brands hold the third position with 14.2%, followed by Greece at 5.11%. The remaining 18% is distributed among various countries like Morocco, Egypt, France, Israel, Lebanon, Brazil, Chile, and Germany.

Tunisia expects its olive production to reach 1.0 mmt in the 2023/24 season, with 200 thousand mt of olive oil in total, an increase of 11% compared to the previous season. This production is distributed across various regions, with the north accounting for 23%, the Sahel for 17%, the center-west for 35%, and the south for 25%. Additionally, Tunisia is focusing on intensifying efforts to ensure the success of its national olive oil export campaign, particularly in light of the global olive oil production drop.

Lastly, the Russian government plans to label edible vegetable oils in consumer packaging from December 1, 2023 to August 31, 2024. The experiment will include oils categorized under HS codes 1508 to 1517 and 1804, such as sunflower, olive, peanut, palm, coconut, rapeseed, cocoa oil, cocoa fat, margarine, and other non-volatile fats and oils of vegetable or microbiological origin, including jojoba oil. The primary objectives of this labeling initiative are to combat counterfeit products and illegal trade, even though such issues are not prevalent in the case of vegetable oils, as noted by the head of the Fat and Oil Union.

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