US is the worlds top importer of Olive Oil. A report of the International Olive Council, included in the December 2014 Newsletter of the organisation highlights the most important figures for the year 2013/2014. Compared to the previous year, imports were 5% higher, totalling to 312.557.80 t.
EU countries recorded a 15-point gain in their share of the US total, which went up from 71 pc in 2012/13 to 86 pc in 2013/2014 driven by high production in Spain. Accounting for 44 pc of total US imports, Italy is still the lead supplier although it has lost ground in volume and percentage terms. Spain lies in second place (40 pc). For the reason already explained, Spanish exports to the US soared by 111 pc in volume terms and by 20 points in percentage terms. Greece, on the other hand, had a bad harvest in 2013/14;
As a result, its market share narrowed by 0.7 points versus 2012/13 and lies at a very low level of 1.8 pc.
By volume, Tunisia is the third biggest supplier of the US market, although with only a 5 pc share in 2013/14 (7 points down on 2012/13) because of its small harvest. Argentina is next in fourth position (2.8 pc), followed by Turkey and Chile, which together with the other countries listed make up the rest of US imports. The biggest change in 2013/14 has been Spain’s sharp gain in market share, probably prompted by the steep increase in Spanish production that season and the growing demand for bulk imports (this aspect is reported in the next section and will be dealt with in detail in the next issue).