The global olive oil market is projected to rake US$11bn worth of revenues by 2022, according to a new study by market research company Fact.MR.

The developed countries continued to be the largest consumers of olive oil globally, the fast-growing economies in the Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region were catching up and could rattle the market balance in the coming years, according to a Fact.MR statement on 10 August.

The global olive oil supply was dependent on the weather conditions in key Mediterranean growing regions, Fact.MR said, and fluctuating weather in Spain and Italy had substantially increased prices over the last few years.

Continuing high demand in emerging economies – led by China – indicated that the industry might be facing challenging times in the coming years.

Europe remained the largest regional contributor, with its market value projected to surpass US$3bn by the end of the forecast period, with the processed oil segment expected to lead the market.

Processed segment dominated the olive oil market globally by product type and its leading position was expected to continue, with Europe providing one third – or US$2.4bn worth – of the global supply.

The virgin oil segment remained much smaller, but producers could be looking to target the APEJ region more efficiently, as in this segment its market share of US$700m was nearly on par with Europe.

“The food processor segment occupies a comparative niche in the olive oil market with a revenue share just approaching a quarter in terms of end user segment,” Fact.MR wrote.

According to the market study, this segment could expect a moderate compound annual growth rate between 2017 and 2022, which meant that companies needed a customised approach to be successful in it.

Europe was projected to record the highest CAGR in the food processor segment, which would help it reach a market value of just under US£1bn by the end of 2022.

Fact.MR also expected the e-commerce boom to bring about “sweeping changes” across several industries in the near future, including the olive oil market, as consumers in emerging economies would seek to purchase oil from their homes with the improving Internet connectivity and plummeting smartphone prices.

While the e-commerce sector at the moment turned in only a fifth of the global olive oil revenue share, Fact.MR said the current lows were not indicative of the “immense potential in this distribution channel in the long term.

Key players in the market up to 2022 were expected to include Adams Group, Adani Wilmar, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Associated British Foods, Bunge, Cargill and Ruchi Soya Industries.