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Spanish Olive Oil: Olive Oil - Liquid Gold

Spain leads the world in olive oil production, marketing and exports, with average trade of around 1,200,000 tonnes a year in recent campaigns, distributed 50-50 between the domestic and foreign markets. There are 2,500,000 hectares of olive groves, the largest area in the world. Spain also has the largest number of olive trees: 300 million. In addition, Spain accounts for 50% of European and 35% of global olive oil production, leading exports to more than 100 countries.

Spain is not only the world’s leading producer of olive oil, with average production of 800,000 tonnes a year, but it also exports an annual average of between 300,000 and 600,000 tonnes to more than one hundred countries around the world. (Source: Oleo)

2008 olive oil sales in Spain reached a volume of 333.5 million kilos, with a value of 965 million euro. Of the total, sales of packaged oil reached 120 million kilos in volume and 465 million euro in value. (Source: Aoliva, the Spanish Olive Oil Exporters Association).

Exports account for more than half of oil production in Spain, estimated at 1.23 billion kilos. Italy is the main destination for bulk oil exports, with 45.2%, a relatively low percentage if we consider that a decade ago it exceeded 80%. This drop is the result of market diversification efforts by Spanish companies, which are moving into increasingly more important countries such as United States and Japan. (Source: Aoliva, the Spanish Olive Oil Exporters Association).

Between 2003 and 2008, foreign sales for the sector increased in value by 47.4%, from 1.24 billion euro to 1.83 billion. Additionally, Spain maintains its leading position in traditional markets such as Italy, France, Australia, United States, Portugal and the United Kingdom in terms of exports of bulk and packaged olive oil. Today, 15 of the top 50 recipient countries are in Asia, with the major markets being China, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, India and Bahrain. (Source: Oleo).  

Spain is the main source of olive oil for Asian powers such as China, South Korea and Bahrain, supplanting Italy, its main competitor in the international market. (Source: Oleo).

Olive oil consumption in the U.S.A., Australia, Brazil, Canada and Japan totals 391,000 tonnes The United States is the world’s leading non-producer market, with consumption of 251,000 tonnes. (Source: IOC - International Olive Council).

According to a recent study which compares olive oil consumption in France and the United Kingdom with Spain, consumers in the first two countries are willing to pay a higher price for olive oil than Spanish shoppers. (Source: MARM - Spanish acronym for the Ministry of the Natural, Rural and Marine Environment).

Sales of organic extra virgin olive oil in Japan increased 16.7% in 2008, compared with the previous year. (Source: CCAE - Spanish acronym for Agrifood Cooperatives Spain).



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