Olive oil
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Market

Production
Consumption
International trade

Production

Olive oil production has normally been concentrated in the Mediterranean basin countries: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco.

These seven countries alone account for 90% of world production.

Main producing countries in 2005

Source: UNCTAD based on data from the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC)

The evolution of world production during the last ten years is shown in the graph below. Production trend by country is ascending but the great influence of the two major producing countries introduced a high level of uncertainty in the production level. Indeed, the fact that production in Italy and Spain changed much more than the one of the other producing countries, explains the high volatility of global production.

Finally, it should be mentioned that the production of other countries (not included in the graph), such as Australia and United States, is increasing.

Production of olive oil, 1993-2005 (1,000 tonnes)

Source: UNCTAD based on data from the IOOC

Consumption

Main consuming countries are also the main olive oil producers as it can be seen from next graph. European Union accounts for 71% of world consumption. Mediterranean basin countries represent 77% of world consumption. Other consuming countries are United States, Canada, Australia and Japan (see the scheme on import trade flows).

Main consuming countries in 2005

Source: UNCTAD based on data from the IOOC

The evolution of production and consumption shows a slight growht from the 1970s to the early nineties. In the mid 1990s there was a strong increase both in production and consumption. Despite the production fall that came afterwards, consumption did not decrease.

The strong correlation between European and world consumption curves explains the significance of European consumption. However, the increasing basis recently observed between the two curves is the result of the emergence of new markets for olive oil.

Production and consumption of olive oil in the world and in the European Union, 1970-2005 (1,000 tonnes)

Source: UNCTAD based on data from the Report on the proceedings of the 86th session of the International Oil Council June 2002

International trade

Main producing countries are also the main exporting counties as it can be seen from the graph below. Once again, the Mediterranean basin countries concentrate more than 95% of total exports..

Exports of olive oil, 1988-2004 (1,000 tonnes)

Source: UNCTAD based on data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations

Exportations, average from 1988 to 2002

Source: UNCTAD based on data from FAO

The following map confirms the conclusions drawn from the analysis of world consumption. Olive oil trade is mainly an intra European trade, although there are also trade flows with industrialized countries out of the Mediterranean area.

Imports, average 2000-2004 (tonnes)

Source: UNCTAD based on data from FAO


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