Olive oil imports is growing every year in United States

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Two decades ago, US olive oil imports accounted for almost 30% of the world total. Now, they account for more than 38%. This issue looks at how imports have changed over time in terms of category breakdown and container size.

Between 1993/94 and 2013/14, packaged product (containers < 18 kg) has seen its percentage share of total US imports shrink by 29.9 points from 87 to 58.6% while bulk containers have gained ground, increasing their share from 13% to 41.4%.Italy was the source of 72 pc of this packaged product, 22% of which was virgin olive oil, 50% was olive oil and 1% was olive pomace oil.Spain supplied 9% of packaged imports, followed by Greece (3%) and Turkey (2.5%).As just mentioned, almost 59% of the oil imported into the United States in 2013/14 was in containers <18 kg and came mostly from Italy (41.8%). Itemised by grade, Italian imports were made up of extra virgin (24%), olive oil (11%) and organic extra virgin (5%), followed by olive pomace oil and the other categories.Spain is the second biggest supplier of the United States, accounting for 11.6% of its imports in volume terms. Next are Greece (1.4%), Tunisia (1.3%), Turkey (1%) and other countries with smaller volumes. Extra virgin olive oil was the grade in greatest demand for packaged imports.Bulk-container imports have been winning ground from packaged product over the last 20 years. Italy leads the packaged market while Spain dominates the bulk market.In 2013/14, 41% of the olive imported into the United States was in containers > 18 kg, of which 28% was from Spain, followed at a distance by Tunisia (4%), Argentina (3%), Italy (2%) and the rest of the countries together (4%).

Virgin olive oil is the most popular grade for imports in this category of container (23% of the total, of which 16% is extra virgin, 4% is organic extra virgin and 3% is virgin).

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