July 2013 saw the introduction of a new tariff nomenclature for virgin olive oils (heading 150910) by the Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of Agriculture where more detailed itemisation allows greater differentiation between the different types of oil.
The old single category listed under code 1509102000 (virgin olive oil under 18 kg) is now broken down into four categories – organic extra virgin olive oil; extra virgin olive oil; organic virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil – for product weighing under 18 kg.
The same applies to former category 150910400, now also broken down into the four categories for product weighing over 18 kg. Besides adding to market transparency, this further differentiation allows more accurate analysis of the import shares of the various types of oil.
Over the seven months from July 2013 to January 2014, the biggest entry was for extra virgin olive oil (83 832.6 t), which accounted for 49 pc of total import volume, 34.5 pc of which (58 685.9 t) was imports of product weighing <18kg (see Chart 1) and 14.5 pc (25 146.7 t) in bulk, i.e. >18 kg (Chart 2). Organic extra virgin olive oil had a 12 pc slice (19 924.3 t) of total imports; 7 pc (12 026.9 t) was packed and 5 pc (7 897.4 t) was imported in bulk.
Next down the line was virgin olive oil with 4 pc (6 884 t) of total volume, almost all of which was imported as product weighing more than 18 kg, and organic virgin olive oil with only a 1 pc share.
Charts 1 and 2 give the import volumes of the different categories of virgin olive oil by product weight.
The data for the other categories of oil continue to be presented in the usual way in the US nomenclature (under heading 150990 for olive oil and 151000 for olive pomace oil).
Source IOC MARKET NEWSLETTER
No 81 – March 2014