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At the close of the 2014/15 crop year, which ran from October 2014 until September 2015, sales of olive oil [olive oils (customs heading 15.09) and olive pomace oils (15.10)] showed a season-on-season increase for Japan (+10 pc), where heavy import growth began in March 2015, steady levels in the United States and China and decreases in Russia (-33 pc), Australia (−21 pc), Brazil (-8 pc) and Canada (−7 pc).
11At the season end, intra-EU acquisitions were down by 3 pc on the previous crop year whereas extra-EU imports showed a steep 293 pc rise. This situation was prompted by the heavy drop in production in Spain and Italy in 2014/15, which obliged these countries to look for supplies elsewhere, especially in Tunisia. As a result, Spanish imports from Tunisia soared by 1071 pc and Italian imports by 330 pc. As reported in the previous issue of this newsletter, this upward movement in imports from Tunisia began in December 2014 and stemmed from its record harvest in 2014/15, which positioned it as the world’s top exporter that season.

Start of the 2015/16 crop year
The new 2015/16 crop year opened with lower trading in olive oil and olive pomace oil in most of the eight markets listed below. In the first two months of the crop year (October and November 2015), the only exception was China where imports were up by 4 pc. The other markets showed large decreases of 38 pc in Brazil, 36 pc in Australia, 18 pc in Canada, 13 pc in Japan and 6 pc in the United States.

Trade data for Russia were only available for the month of October and show a decrease of 58 pc compared with the same month of the previous season. This situation calls for close monitoring to check whether these negative results are merely one-off decreases or whether they are indicative of a trend.

Preliminary analysis suggests that they may be due to various factors such as the repercussions of prices in the previous crop year, strategic purchasing by importers and the fact that new season oil was not yet ready for export. Whatever the case, it will be necessary to keep close tabs on the figures in the coming months. The October 2015 figures for EU trade1 reveal a decrease of 27 pc in intra-EU acquisitions but an increase of 161 pc in extra-EU exports versus the same period of 2014/15.
22Start of the 2015/16 crop year
In October and November 2015, the first two months of the 2015/16 crop year, table olive imports behaved differently in the six markets reported below, showing increases in the United States (+19 pc) and Canada (+17 pc) and decreases in Brazil (−26 pc) and Australia (−6 pc). Only October 2015 data were available for Russia and showed a decrease of 39 pc on the same month of the previous season.
33The EU2 trade data for the first month of the season (October 2015) report an increase of 6 pc in intra-EU acquisitions and a decrease of 23 pc in extra-EU imports compared with the same period a year earlier.
44Source: International Olive Council MARKET NEWSLETTER No 101 – January 2016

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