Greece, a major exporter of table olives to Italy with 78% share

Table Olive Exports

According to a report which was presented in February 2021 by the Office for Economic and Commercial Affairs General Consulate of Greece in Milan of the Embassy of Greece in Rome, in 2019, Italy imported olives intended for uses other than olive oil production from Greece (77.49% of total imports), Spain (21.69%) and Bulgaria (0.56%).

Regarding Italian imports of olives, during the period 2015-2019, Greece consistently occupies the first place with a very high share (73% – 82%). However, in the two years 2017-2019, Greek exports showed fluctuations proportional to the ones of Italian imports. Namely, in 2017 Greek exports amounted to $10.04 million in a total of $13.37 million, in 2018 amounted to $7.95 million in total imports of $9.67 million, while in 2019 they increased further and amounted to $8.34 million in total imports of $10.76 million. It is worth noting that according to the International Olive Council, during the years 2017-2019, Greece was in 5th place globally with regards to table olive production, after Egypt, Spain, Turkey, and Algeria, and followed by Argentina and Italy. At European level and during the same period, Greece ranked 2nd in terms of production volume of table olives, after Spain.

The breakdown

In 2019, Italy imported olives temporarily preserved, but unfit for human consumption, intended for uses other than oil production, from Spain (69.86% of total imports), Greece (14.46%), Egypt (12.27%) and Morocco (1.74%). Greek exports remained firmly in second place, with a total of $7.63 million.

The same year, Italy imported $5.14 million worth of uncooked or steamed or frozen olives from Spain (61.01% of total imports), Greece (36.88%), and Belgium (1.83%). Regarding olives prepared or preserved in ways other than vinegar or acetic acid, not frozen, Italy imported $131 million from Spain (55.1% of total imports), $38.24 million from Greece (29.2%), Morocco (6.9%), Egypt (3.7%), and Turkey (2%). This is, in value, the most important table olive product exported to Italy.

Finally, exports of Greek table olives prepared or preserved in vinegar or acetic acid, from $598,000 in 2015 fell sharply by -95.15% and amounted to $29,000 in 2019.