Daily Archives: June 6, 2013

  • Trade Dispute with China Would Impact Europe’s Olive Oil Exports

    The world’s biggest olive oil exporter to China – Spain – fears being caught in the crossfire if a trade battle breaks out over the European Union’s punitive tariffs on Chinese solar panels announced Tuesday.

    China waited just a day to launch an anti-dumping probe into E.U. wine imports, a move which suggests a tit-for-tat trade war looms, the South China Morning Post reports.

    And the European Voice says rumors suggest Beijing may also target “olive oil, steel tubing, and part of the chemicals industry.”

    Similarly, ARN Digital says exporters fear Spanish olive oil could suffer some of the worst collateral damage because if China and the E.U. don’t reach a deal to resolve their dispute in the next two months, “China will impose barriers not just on wine but also on olive oil.”

    The country supplies nearly 60 percent of China’s olive oil imports and in the first quarter of this year its olive oil exports there enjoyed 80 percent growth year-on-year, to reach €35 million, ARN Digital said.

    Two-month window to seek solution on panels

    E.U. Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht announced on Tuesday that the European Commission had decided to impose provisional tariffs on solar panels imported from China “in order to counter the dumping of these products on the European market.”

    A provisional 11.8 percent tariff now applies on all Chinese solar panel imports but this is to rise to an average of 47.6 percent from August 6. However, De Gucht said he would “prefer a negotiated solution, and quickly.”

    China’s Ministry of Commerce announced the wine probe in a statement the following day which also called for the EU to show “more sincerity and flexibility” on the solar dispute.

    “We have noted the quick rise in wine imports from the EU in recent years, and we will handle the investigation in accordance with the law,” the ministry statement said, according to South China Morning Post.

    E.U. itself the target of anti-dumping moves

    The E.U. has itself already been subject to various dumping claims over subsidies for olive oil production.As reported in Olive Oil Times in April, South Africa is the latest country to seek a countervailing duty to apply on E.U. olive oil imports.

    Peru had applied such an anti-subsidy duty on imports of Italian and Spanish olive oil until a tribunal there quashed the duty earlier this year on finding there had not been proof of injury to the olive oil sector in Peru.

    Sources:

    Remarks by EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on the decision to impose provisional anti-dumping measures on imports of solar panels from China
    China launches anti-dumping probe into EU wine imports
    De Gucht’s big gamble
    España será la más perjudicada por la guerra comercial entre China y la Unión Europea

    By Julie Butler
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

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    The world’s biggest olive oil exporter to China – Spain – fears being caught in the crossfire if a trade battle breaks out over the European Union’s punitive tariffs on Chinese solar panels announced Tuesday. China waited just a day to launch an anti-dumping probe into... 
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  • Greeks Still World’s Top Olive Oil Guzzlers

    Greece still leads the world in per capita olive oil consumption, with each person consuming nearly 18kg yearly, according to figures from the European Commission.

    In a table of per capita olive oil consumption in the European Union for 2011/12, Greece is at the top with 17.9kg, followed by Spain with 12.6kg, Italy 10.9kg, Cyprus 7.5kg and Portugal 7.4kg.

    And the just over half a million people who live in Luxembourg, one of the world’s financial capitals, lapped up an average of 2.7kg of olive oil each, to slip in next, ahead of the French and Maltese, who averaged 1.7kg per person.

    Demand down in Spain

    Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Spanish Olive Oil Agency (AAO) show that domestic consumption in Spain continues to slide and is down 22 percent for the first seven months of this season (Otober 2012 to April 2013) compared to the same period last season, and 18 percent compared to the average for the four previous seasons. Exports are also 28 percent and 19 percent lower respectively.

    According to the AAO’s market report, Spain had olive oil stocks of 757,000 tons at the end of April, after producing 612,900 tons this season – down 62 percent on 2011/12 – and importing 68,100 tons.

    Producer prices in Spain

    According to Spain’s POOLred price observatory, the average ex-mill price for olive oil in Spain for the last week of May is €2.51 a kilo, down from €2.69 for the last week of April, and €2.83 in the last week of March but nearly 85 cents above that of the middle of last year, when prices started to recover there.

    Spanish olive oil producer Rafael Muela told Olive Oil Times he expected little movement in the spot price for olive oil in the next few months as people waited to see how the next crop would be.

    “The flowers are increasing very fast and based on the appearance of some small fruit it looks like next year will be a very good one,” he said.

    It that outlook held, prices would probably fall towards the end of the year, he said.

    “We were afraid at the start of the year (when grower prices were about $3/kg), because we felt that even international consumption would fall.”

    “We are comfortable at the current price nationally as at this level farms are profitable,” he said.

    “We would sell a little bit more at a lower price but we have to take care of our farmers. We don’t need to drop down to the prices of last year or two years ago or we’ll lose farmers.”

    “Maintaining them at the level now we make for a healthier sector and not only in Spain but these prices will also be good for farmers in California and other places.”

    Muela, co-owner and senior marketing vice-president of Córdoba-based Mueloliva, said he did not think sales would pick up in the national market if the current price level held but at least they would be maintained or perhaps rise a little internationally.

    Olive__oil__consuption
    Sources:

    Market report to April 30, 2013, from Spanish Olive Oil Agency (in Spanish)
    POOlred price observatory

    By Julie Butler
    Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

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    Greece still leads the world in per capita olive oil consumption, with each person consuming nearly 18kg yearly, according to figures from the European Commission. In a table of per capita olive oil consumption in the European Union for 2011/12, Greece is at the top with 17.9kg,... 
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