Spanish exports of black olives to the US fell by 72% in August-September, the first two months of application of the final tariffs imposed on imports from Spain, amounting to 35%, according to data from the US Department of Customs.
In volume, the exports of black olives from Spain to the USA went from 5.5 million kilos to 1.5, 71.8% less and in value from 12.5 million dollars to 4.1 million dollars, a 66.7% off.
In contrast to the decline in Spain, the rest of the countries that export black olives to the US grew by 46.8% -from 1.8 to 2.6 million kilos-, highlighting Morocco that did 76.3%, although not they compensate for the drop of 4 million kilos of imports from Spain, resulting in a total decrease in imports of 42.5%. Predictably, the available data already indicate the Californian industry as the great beneficiary of tariffs.
Thus, despite the decrease in apparent consumption of black olives in the US in the period analyzed August-September of almost 19%, sales in California grew 2.3% showing a clear upward trend since only in the month of September , -last month available-, did it by 10.5% compared to a drop in exports of Spain of 76.5%.
The comparison of the last month available, September 2018, compared to September 2017, perfectly reflects what is happening: the exports of black olive from Spain have fallen from 2.3 million kilos to 0.5, going from representing 78 % of imports at 30% and 34.5% of US black consumption at 9%.
Exports decrease 76.5% if we consider only the last month, September.
While the dramatic fall of exports of black olives to the American market continues, the sector is still waiting for the EU to denounce the US to the World Trade Organization as ASEMESA has done before the American justice system”, says Antonio de Mora, Secretary General of ASEMESA.
“We hope that an important aid fund will be established to compensate the losses of the exporting companies and the enormous economic effort that they are making in the defense, not only of the black olive of Spain, but of the whole model of aid from the CAP” , Add. De Mora recalls that “they accuse us of making unfair competition due to the aid received by EU farmers through the PAC, which is a public aid system, which is awarded to the industry one hundred percent.”
ASEMESA, the Spanish Association of Exporters and Industrialists of Table Olives, represents for more than 90 years the industry dedicated to the production, marketing and export of table olives in Spain. The main objective of the Association is to defend the interests of the table olive industry as well as to intercede with national and international administrations and agricultural organizations. Currently, it also plays an important role within the Interprofessional of the sector, Interaceituna, being one of the promoters of its creation in 2007.