The olive oil industry has been developing fast during the last few years in Chile. Planted area and production has more than doubled during the last three years.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number: CI1019
Olive Oil Production --Voluntary
Rachel Bickford, Agricultural Attaché
Luis Hennicke, Agricultural Specialist
The olive oil industry has been developing fast during the last few years in Chile. Planted area and production
has more than doubled during the last three years. Chile is producing some excellent quality olive oil. This
opinion is supported by the participation and wining important international contests, mainly in Italy, which has
helped to develop the export markets. Chile?s main export markets are the United States, Italy, Canada and
Production: Chile has excellent soil and climatic conditions for olive oil production. Additionally, its
geographical isolation with natural boundaries like the Pacific Ocean, the Antarctic, Andes Mountain and the
desert in the north helps the country naturally isolated from pests. Freedom from agricultural pests, together
with good soil for olive production allows producers to plant different varieties of olives with special
organoleptic conditions which enriches blending, according to industry officials.
Planted area has grown from around 5 thousand hectares in 2005 to over 24 thousand hectares in 2010. The
industry projects that over 29,000 hectares will be devoted to olive trees by 2015 and 33,000 hectares in 2020,
Chile has a potential of around 200,000 hectares that can be planted with olives for oil production. Olives for oil
can be planted from Region III (Copiapo) through Region VII (Maule region).
Most of the olives produced for oil are under the so called conventional system of production. According to the
Ministry of agriculture, presently only 1,450 hectares qualify for organic production in Chile, but a large number
of producers are in the process of reconverting their orchards towards organic production.
Output of oil (Extra Virgin) has also been growing fast during the last few years, in hand with the increase in
planted area. In CY2010 domestic production increased over 41 percent when compared to the previous year, it
went from 8,500 MT to 12,000 MT. Presently Chile only represents 0.3 percent of total world production and
Consumption: Domestic consumption of olive oil has also grown during the last few years in Chile, mainly
due to promotions highlighting its nutritive and healthy qualities. In CY2010 per capita domestic consumption is
estimated to have reached 568 grams which is a 30 percent larger than the previous year. This trend shows that
consumers are replacing increasing amounts of other vegetable oils for olive oil. An industry contact indicated
that in a few years domestic consumption should reach 900 grams of olive oil per capita.
Exports: Olive oil exports have grown together with the expansion of production during the last few years. In
2010 an estimated 3,057 MT of oil were exported, a 58 percent increase when compared to the previous year.
Out of the total exported volume 36 percent was bottled extra virgin olive oil, sold at an average of US$6 per Kg.
and 64 percent went to bulk extra virgin olive oil sold at an average price of US$2.9 per Kg. Total Chilean olive
oil exports corresponded to 25.4 percent of total production in CY2010. Presently there are 49 companies
producing and exporting olive oil in Chile. Chile exports extra virgin olive oil to over 35 different countries. The
top destinations are: the United States, Italy, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Exports to Italy and
Spain are mainly in bulk.
Imports: In 2010 Chile imported 763 MT of olive oil, a 5 percent more than the previous year, for a total of
US$3.045 million dollars. Statistics show that imports have been falling since 2005, when production and
exports started to grow significantly.
Chile imports olive oil mainly from Argentina (43%), Italy (34%), and Spain (21%). Most of the olive oil coming
from Argentina is in Bulk. There are 43 different companies importing olive oil in Chile.
Export Trade Matrix
Commodity Olive Oil
Exports for: 2010
Time Period Jan-Dec
Units: Volume Value
U.S. 1,094 5,049
Italy 951 2,692
Canada 245 1,397
Spain 323 801
Brazil 146 752
Colombia 96 420
México 65 364
Taiwan 40 272
Germany 26 157
Japan 12 116
Venezuela 8 81
Total for Others 1,912
Others not Listed 51
Grand Total 3,057 12,391
Note: Volume in MT
Value in Thous. Dollars