oil and gas

Olive oil exports to generate this season record revenues of more than 2 billion dinars

August 27, 2020

(TAP) - Tunisian exports of olive oil for this season will generate record revenues amounting to more than 2 billion dinars by exporting 340,000 tonnes against 1.2 billion dinars in the previous year

These revenues are expected to make a contribution of 4.25% to the country’s State budget worth 47 billion dinars.

CEO of the National Olive Oil Board Chokri Bayoudh told TAP in an interview that olive oil sales reached, late in July 2020, almost 294,000 tonnes for a value of 1.7 billion dinars, against exports of 100,000 tonnes of a value of 1.2 billion dinars for the previous season.

“Exports of packaged olive oil rose to 20,000 tonnes. We hope that they will reach 25,000 tonnes by the end of this the season,” he said.

The same source says that the average price of olive oil for this season was set to 12 dinars for the packaged olive oil (4 Euros per bottle) and 6 dinars per kg for the bulk, underlining that these prices are determined by the world market.

'At the end of this export season (November 2020), we are planning to export around 340 thousand tonnes, which will generate total revenues exceeding 2 billion dinars', he reiterated.

Bayoudh indicated that despite the spread of the global health crisis of COVID-19, the marketing of the Tunisian olive oil has not been interrupted.

“During the lockdown that was decreed in March and April, we were able to export an average of 45,000 tonnes per month,” he said.

80% of olive oil exports were destined to the EU (26 countries), 15% to the US and Canada and 5% to the rest of the world, he added.

For many years, Tunisia has worked on diversifying its export markets and entered new ones including Asian markets, namely China’s and India’s, Bayoudh said. Tunisia has also increased its presence in US and Canadian markets which make an annual growth of 5% to 8%, Bayoudh noted.

Today, Tunisia’s olive oil is exported to 54 countries throughout the world. It has become the first exporter of packaged olive oil in the world to Canada, he affirmed.

The fact that Tunisia has been able to export 80% of its olive oil to the EU which is considered as a worldwide leader in terms of production and export, reflects the superior quality of our olive oil, he indicated. The EU market imposes strict standards in terms of quality and health conditions.

According to Bayoudh, a focus will be placed on enhancing the value of the Tunisian packaged olive oil as well as increasing the production of organic olive oil (export of 50,000 tonnes during this season). An emphasis will also be put on increasing exports to the USA, the world's leading importer of organic olive oil (nearly 40,000 tonnes are imported annually in bulk and in packages)

//Olive oil exports contribute to food trade balance//

The official pointed out that the export of olive oil will help reduce the food trade deficit caused by a remarkable decline in exports of fruits and vegetables as well as fish products.

Bayoudh underlined that olive oil sales would represent between 60% and 70% of food exports, compared to a rate of 40% in recent years.

According to the National Observatory of Agriculture (French : ONAGRI), the deficit of the food trade balance was reduced during the first seven months of 2020 reaching 222.4 MD against a deficit of 801.3 MD during the first months of 2019.


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