US imports of olive oil and olive-pomace oil have increased by 1.7% in the 2017/18 crop year, reaching 322,199 t. This represents a 7.8% increase compared to the 2012/13 crop year when imports reached 298,827 t. Table 1 shows changes in imports over the last six crop years.
We can see how Spain and Italy, the two main exporters to the US, make up 68.1% of the total, followed by Tunisia with 12.5% and Turkey with 8.3%. The latter two countries have seen the most significant increases in production in the 2017/18 crop year, by 166.6% and 81.4% respectively compared to the previous crop year. Monthly changes in this market can be found in part I.1 of this news.
Some 71.6% of imports came from the European Union. The remaining 28.4% came mainly from Tunisia (12.5%), Argentina (2.5%), Chile (2.2%) and Morocco (1.4%).
As for volumes per product, 72.9% of all imports fell under 15.09.10 (virgin olive oil), followed by imports of 15.09.90 (olive oil) with 23.5%. The remaining 3.6% corresponds to imports of 15.10.00 (olive-pomace oils).
Imports of virgin olive oils have ticked upwards, increasing by 32.8% in the 2017/18 crop year compared with 2005/06, when 60% of imports were of this category.
As for packaging, Italy stands out as it uses packaging weighing less than 18kg, rather than packaging above 18kg, which represents only 4%. Greece and Lebanon also have this characteristic. On the other hand, pac- kaging of 18kg or more is used more than 89.9% of the time in Argentina, Chile, Morocco Tunisia and Turkey.
Illustration Jasper Johns
International Olive Council