Chile’s olive oil exports grew 139% in value this Jan. 2011 in comparison with the same month last year. Exports amounted to about US$1.1 million (CP$518 million), and a total volume of 286 tons, a 226% increase.
The data was taken the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (PASO), a centralized service under the President of the Chilean Republic and the Ministry of Agriculture, who have access to the relevant statistics.
PASO, suggest several factors contributing to the increase in olive oil exports.
One factor listed is the recent incorporation of traders and producers in olive oil the industry; a move that opened up new markets and trade routes. Another campaign by Chile’s Association of Olive Oil Producers (ChileOliva) and Chile’s export promotions body ProChile, is thought to have yielded good results in the U.S. and Brazil.
Chilean wine experienced similarly explosive growth a couple of decades ago and the country is currently the 10th largest producer in the world, according to data from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) . In the last several years, the olive oil industry has begun to see a similar boom. In 2009, the Andean nation exported 1,342 tons of olive oil between January and September, a 144% increase compared to the same period of 2008.
The main countries of destination for Chilean olive oil in January 2011 were the United States (49%), Italy (27%), Canada (14%), Brazil (2%), Japan (2%), China (1%), South Korea (1%), Cameroon (1%), Colombia (1%) and Taiwan (1%).
Chile today has more than 20,000 hectares planted with olive trees for olive oil extraction and consistent annual increases in production, according ChileOliva.