Olive Oil Market - Spain Runs the Show in the Global Olive Oil Market

Vegetable And Animal Oils And Fats September 10, 2015
Author: Olga Minchina
Account Manager

olive oil market

The olive oil industry, connected, as it is, to a product that has long been acknowledged to contain extraordinary health properties, has always thrived in the countries of the Mediterranean region. The Omega-3 monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants of olive oil help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, prevent stroke, lower risks of breast cancer, and fight depression, along with many other benefits.

The majority of olives in the world are produced by Spain, a country with perfect conditions for olive tree cultivation. Spanish olive oil is shipped to more than a hundred countries across the globe in bulk as well as in containers of less than five liters.

Subject to stringent quality standards, Spanish olive oil undergoes analyses in laboratories, corresponding to strict requirements. The Spanish olive oil sector is now taking steps to adopt the new EU-recognized Protected Designations of Origin (PDO), encouraging olive oil producers to exercise demanding standards in order to protect the quality of their product. In addition, such globally recognized institutions as the Mengíbar olive growing center in Jaén and the Fats and Oils Institute in Seville are engaged in enhancing cultivation and extraction methods.

Spain's geographical variety ensures a wide range of olive oils. The most well-known varieties are Picual and Cornicabra. Picual oil is predominantly grown in the Jaén province, Córdoba, Granada as well as Castilla-La-Mancha. The extensiveness of the Picual cultivating area results in varying properties, from a traditional hint of fig with slight bitterness to more redolent fruity aromas. Cornicabra is found primarily in the center of Spain, in and around Castilla-la-Macha. This type of oil, distinguished by fruity aromas and dense texture, is particularly suitable for blending with other oil varieties. Among the other popular Spanish olive oil types, the following oils can be distinguished: Arbequina from Catalonia, Hojiblanca and Picudo, Empeltre from Aragón and Lechín from Seville.

Overall, more than two hundred olive tree varieties are grown on the vast hills of Spain, covering an area of over two million hectares. Production of olive oil by region is broken down as follows: Andalusia (80 %), Castilla-la-Mancha (7%), Extremadura (5%), Catalonia (3.5%) and other regions of Spain (4.5%).

Spain dominates in global virgin olive oil production and trade. In 2013, Spain exported 50.3% of its total virgin olive oil output. Of this amount, 35.4% was supplied into Italy, where Spanish virgin olive oil held a 33.5% share of total Italy's consumption.

In 2013, Italy (32.7%), the U.S. (14.5%), France (8.1%), Spain (8.0%) and Portugal (5.8%) were the leading destinations of virgin olive oil imports, together making up 64.1% of global imports on the olive oil market. The share of Spain increased significantly (+9.9 percentage points), while the share of Italy illustrated negative dynamics (-1.1 percentage points).

In 2013, Spain and Italy were the main global suppliers of virgin olive oil with a combined share of 62.8% of global exports. However, the fastest growing suppliers from 2007 to 2013 were Chile (+59.9% per year) and Egypt (+41.0% per year). Being the largest global producers of virgin olive oil, Spain and Italy exported around a half of their production. Greece significantly strengthened its position in the global export structure, from 7.9% in 2007 to 11.5% in 2013.

Do you want to know more about the global olive oil market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • olive oil market share
  • olive oil prices
  • olive oil industry
  • olive oil sales
  • olive oil market forecast
  • olive oil price forecast
  • key olive oil producers

Source: World: Olive Oil (Virgin) - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2020