Olive & Oil 16/05/2014

Why China stops to buy extra virgin olive oil?

Olive oil world production is assessed at around 3.150.000 tonns, according IOC forecast, and ending stocks are expected to be more than 480.000 tonns

Between October 2013 and February 2014, the first five months of the 2013/14 crop year, trade in olive oil and olive pomace oil decreased overall by 9% in seven countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Russia, Usa) falling from 247347 tonns to 224726 tonns.

Individually, Japan is the only market where imports increased (+2%, above all because they picked up in February 2014).

In the other countries, five-month imports dropped on average by 31% in China, 16% in Australia, 14% in Brazil, 10% in Canada, 6% in the United States and 3% in Russia.

Focusing on February, imports recovered in Australia, Japan and Russia, thus consolidating the upturn that began in December or January, but did not do so elsewhere. In point of fact, they decreased in Brazil (-4%), Canada (- 18%) and China where imports recorded a large drop of 40% in February and 49% in January).

In the United States, imports turned upwards in January (+9%) but fell again in February (-5%).

Concern about this decrease in imports is also fuelled by the fact that 1% growth was forecast for these seven countries in the provisional IOC balances for 2013/14.

If the overall drop of 9% holds, the current figures in the 2013/14 balance would have to be adjusted to lower world imports by 53 900 tonns.

In the first six months of the current 2013/14 crop year, between October 2013 and March 2014, Spain produced 1752100 tonns of olive oil according to figures released by the Food Information and Control Agency (AICA for its Spanish acronym) of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment.

This record tonnage is 188% more than the season before and higher than the initial estimates. As a result, world production is assessed at around 3150000 tonns and ending stocks are expected to be more than 480000 tonns as long as the other provisional figures in the world balance do not change.

di S. C.

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