The Oil Market, from Gordon Haave

December 14, 2012 |

 Since I married an Albanian, I have become an olive fanatic, and I have to say the upcoming Californian olive industry is going to be a real challenge to Greece. Californian olives are fantastic, and presumably harvested much more efficiently than the Greek ones.

Bruno Ombreux writes: 

I've read Spain produces about four times as much olive oil as Greece, so if there is a threat to anyone its to Spain. Italy produces over 50% than Greece too. Greece is only third ranked producer (about 15% of World production) in what is a niche commodity market. Also, almost half of Greek production is consumed locally.

I do not think California is ever going to be a threat to Spain or Italy. Consumption is growing. The world is short olive oil. California can fill part of the growing needs.

If competitors should arise, it would be more the Southern Mediterranean countries if they ever get their acts together and increase quality and quantity.

At the top end side of the business, a niche within a niche, nothing is ever going to compete in terms of prestige and quality with oils like Nunez de Prado's Flor or some Italian oils or even some obscure French ones (which are a niche within a niche within a niche).

Olive Oil, an Eyewitness Guide is a great book about olive oil. Most of the other books on olive oil are more about showing beautiful pictures of Mediterranean landscapes. This one talks about cultivars and brands.


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