Spain is the world leader of olive oil production (about 45%), also can be confirmed as the leader of world trade in the European Union countries. Spain imports 40,000 tons of olive oil from other countries and exports 225,000 tons to Italy, that makes Spain the major player in Italy’s domestic market. Spain’s main focus in exports, is bottles of less than one liter, to European and non European Union countries, totaling to 225,000 tons.
Italy is importing over 450,000 tons of raw olive oil from Spain, Greece and other countries outside the European Union. Italy exports over 250,000 tons of olive oil in small bottles.
Greece is not a marketing champion or a marketing guru, but is an exporter. Olive oil importing in Greece is not existent. Over 100,000 million tons is being exported, mainly extra virgin olive oil, that goes to Italy for extended processing and packaging. Another 15 million tons is being exported to the rest of the world.
Non European Union Mediterranean countries are exporting bulk olive oil to Italy and Spain. Very small quantities are exported in small packages, mostly to United States.
There is an agreement with Tunisia for covering a quantity of about 60,000 tons. There is also another agreement that is called “inward processing traffic”. There are no levied tariffs on imports that are processed, refined and bottled, also mixed with olive oil from the European Union and then exported.
The future of the markets depends on the agreements of the World Trade Organization (WTO), clearly between the European Union and the Mediterranean countries.