Monday, August 6, 2012
The depressed state of the world trade in olive oil can be partially explained by the simple dynamics of supply and demand. According to the statistics published by the International Olive Council, supply of extra virgin olive oil exceeds demand. This has led to low prices and storage of olive oil in Spain in an attempt reverse the supply/demand situation. However, the stored extra virgin olive oil will deteriorate and its release into the market will increase the availability of lower grade olive oil selling at lower prices and competing with extra virgin olive oil.
Per capita consumption of olive oil in the USA continues to rise (USDA, World Bank and IOC data). Over the five years from 2007 to 2011 consumption has increased from 0.82 litres per person to 0.88 litres. Most of the olive oil is imported making the US the largest importer outside the European Union. Local production, mainly from California, produces approximately 2% of consumer requirements.