Olive oil, Italy is a global big player

The deficit recorded in the trade balance bears witness to the importance of blending for Italy

Italy is the first importer and second exporter (behind only Spain) of olive oil worldwide. The analysis of the Italian olive-oil supply chain, conducted by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, aims to highlight the strategic importance of domestic oil production within the dynamics of international trade.

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As for exports, the world trade in olive oil and pomace oil is governed by a small number of players. These are the main producing countries: Spain, Italy, Tunisia, Greece, and Portugal. An aggregate analysis of trade shows that, in 2019, a total of 2.37 million tons were exported. This means a substantial growth in the medium to long term, while the value stopped at 7 billion euros highlighting the absence of a stable trend over time due to the strong fluctuation of global prices.

In 2019, the traded volumes of virgin and extra virgin olive oil amounted to about 1.7 million tons, against a value of 5.2 billion euros reaching a share of more than 70% of world trade in both volume and value. Spain is the undisputed leader with a share of about 50% of the oil handled on a global scale. It is followed, at a considerable distance, by Italy, Portugal, Tunisia and Greece.


Source: Elaborations RRN-ISMEA on ITC UN Comtrade data

Besides being the second exporter, Italy is also the main world buyer of olive oil with a share of around 30% in 2019, followed by the United States and Spain. The first 5 countries concentrate a share of 60% of total world imports (in value, 65% in volumes). These shares rise to 80% considering the top 10 importers.


Source: Elaborations RRN-ISMEA on ITC UN Comtrade data
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