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India Slows Down in Olive Oil Imports

July 20, 2014 - New Delhi, Delhi, India

Olive and Olive Pomace Oil imports to India in the fiscal year ended March, 2014 were 10,718 Metric Tonnes (MT) down from 11,917 MT, in the previous year, registering a decrease of 10%. Spain and Italy continued to dominate Indian imports in the current fiscal providing 63% and 32% respectively. Greece was a distant 3rd with 3%.
Growth of olive oil imports to India has slowed when compared with the blistering rate of 66% witnessed in the previous full fiscal year. The year ending March, 2012 had seen a growth rate of 42%. Much of the growth deceleration is due to a rise in olive oil prices of upto 40% in the years 2012 and 2013. Price increases came about due to a severe crop shortfall in Spain in 2012-13 coupled with the steep depreciation of the rupee. An economic slowdown in India completed the trio of factors which saw a decrease in the rate at which consumers were switching to olive oil from other seed oils. This year’s crop is normal and producer prices in Spain and Italy have shown a downward trend, which has translated into declining retail prices in India.
Enormous jump in Table Olive imports
Table Olive imports jumped to 1,198 MT in the year ended March, 2014, up from 842 MT in the previous year – a phenomenal growth rate of 42%. In prior years, quantities imported by India were 707 MT in 2012, 807 MT in 2011 and 916 MT in 2010.  Table Olives are popular in India for their health benefits.
However, India remains one of the smallest importers of Table Olives internationally due to one of the highest customs duty rates in the world.  India levies between 44 – 51% duty on Table Olives. Table Olives are popular in India for pizza toppings, salads, pastas and cocktail snacks. India’s entire requirement of Table Olives is met by imports. Spain dominates India’s imports with 89% share in the year ended March, 2014. There is no domestic production of Table Olives.
Unhealthy fried snacks are responsible for the alarming rise of lifestyle diseases in India. Table Olives are a unique healthy fruit which provide highest life expectancy but awareness of their health benefits in India is very low.
Table Olives are rich in mono-unsaturated fats, Vitamin E, polyphenols and flavonoids. Mono-unsaturated fats prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce total cholesterol and decrease LDL (bad Cholesterol) and triglycerides. Vitamin E is a primary antioxidant which neutralizes free radicals, prevents cancer, heart disease, diabetes and menopausal hot flashes. Polyphenols and flavonoids are antioxidants which reduce asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Olives and Olive Oil provide highest life expectancy to the Mediterranean people.
India is world No. 1 in cardiac patients. Over 40% of urban Indians have high cholesterol and triglycerides. 140 million people in India have high blood pressure. India is one of the diabetic capitals of the world.

Source: Business Wire India


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