Monday, January 12, 2009

Virgin Olive Oil Imports Up, Prices Trend Down

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data the price of virgin and refined olive oils imported into Australia over the last three years has shown a downward trend. This is good for consumers and not so good for producers.

The import price is generally a benchmark for price setting of olive oils in Australia. Although there is no data available for Australian prices, it is reasonable to assume that the prices will follow the trend of imported olive oils if they are to be competitive.

The graph below shows that since the 2005/2006 financial year the price of virgin olive oils has dropped from $6.04/kg to $5.14/kg in 2007/2008 for packaged olive oil and from $7.48/kg to $5.28/kg for bulk. The first five months of the current financial year have shown a slight increase for packaged olive oil to $5.30/kg while bulk has continued to fall to $5.22/kg.

In the three year period imports of virgin olive oil have risen by 26.82%.

The price trend for refined olive oil is also downward with the price for packaged products declining from $5.59/kg in 2005/2006 to $4.89 in 2007/2008. A slight rise to $5.20/kg is shown for the first five months of the current financial year. Bulk refined olive oils dropped from $5.55/kg to $4.37/kg over the same period with a slight rise to $4.62 to November this year.

The volume of imported refined oils has declined by 9% during the three year period. This is reflected in the decline of the proportion of refined olive oil imported from 61% in 2005/2006 to 52% in 2007/2008

Simon Field
Olive Business