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04 Oct Imports in Spain are growing

Spanish companies have learned to re-export olive oils from other countries to the US to circumvent tariffs.

According to data released by the Spanish Ministry of agriculture, fisheries and food, imports of olive oil in the 2019/20 agricultural year reached a four-year high.

A total of 208,500 tons of olive oil were imported into the country between October 2019 and June 2020, an increase of 71% compared to the same period of the 2018/19 harvest and an increase of 86% compared to the average of the previous 4 years.

As a result of the 25% import duty imposed in October last year, Spanish olive oil exports to the United States for the first six months of 2020 decreased by more than a third compared to the same period in 2019. With such levies, olive oil can’t go to the US under a Spanish brand. And now companies that used to export are forced to import olive oil from other countries in order to maintain their brand and position. For this reason, there was a significant increase in imports, mainly from neighboring Portugal, as well as Tunisia.

Despite a significant decline in exports to the US, growing demand for Spanish oils in Australia, Brazil, Canada and other European Union member States means that exports will increase moderately in 2019/20. According to the Ministry’s estimates, this year this figure will be 1.36 million tons, which is 3.6% more than in the previous year, which means that the industry is growing no matter what.

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