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EVOO's healthy properties trigger its demand in Belgium

EVOO's healthy properties trigger its demand in Belgium

2018/25/05 - The ICEX study "The Olive Oil Market in Belgium" reveals that in the European country there has been an increase in the demand for healthier products, such as olive oil. Although its consumption continues to be low, the report highlights its remarkable increase in recent years and forecasts an upward trend.
As the report highlights, in recent years, Belgium has experienced a progressive change in consumer behavior, increasingly aware of the importance of nutrition in health. This has led to an increase in the demand for healthier products, such as olive oil or margarines with vitamins, low in fat or with properties to reduce cholesterol.

Thus, the market for oils and fats in Belgium in the year 2017 reached, according to the latest data provided by Euromonitor, 462 million euros, with an annual consumption of 113,000 tons. On the other hand, between 2012 and 2017, the oils and fats sector in Belgium experienced a decrease of 2.82% in value and 2.57% in volume. However, if we focus on olive oil, we note that the evolution in this period is positive both in value, with 7.80%, and in volume, with 7.02%. Also, according to Euromonitor data, the evolution of the price per kilo is also positive (0.74%), with a sale value in 2017 of € 6.32 / kg, estimating that import prices, according to Euroestacom data, are € 3.87 / kg.

Despite the increase in consumption in recent years and the trend is positive, the consumption of olive oil in Belgium remains low compared to the rest of the products in the sector, but has increased in recent years and it seems that the trend will continue to be positive. Per capita consumption is much lower than in other European countries (1.35 liters compared to the 10.7 liters consumed in Spain), so its growth margin is still wide.

Regarding the local production of olive oil in Belgium, it is null since it lacks the climatic conditions and optimal land for the exploitation of olive trees. We must recall that the EU / 27 states produce about 75% of the total, while the African and Middle Eastern countries contribute 24%.

As to imports, in 2017, Belgium imported 17,423.50 tons of olive oil for a total value of 74.99 million euros. If we compare the imports of 2017 with those of the year 2012, we observe that they have gone from 53.43 million euros to 74.99 in value, with an average evolution of 25.47%. In volume, they have gone from 17,535.60 tons in 2012 to 17,423.50 in 2017, with an average evolution of 4.21%.

Therefore, the fact that volume imports fall and the price rises indicates that consumers opt for the purchase of higher quality oils and that the price of olive oil has increased.
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