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Olive oil: massive slump in exports

May 7, 2024 at 4:50 PM , Der AUDITOR
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IZMIR. In order to promote exports of olive oil in smaller packaging units, Turkey restricted exports of large containers last summer. The Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters Association (EZZİB) is taking stock of the situation.

Restrictions were unsuccessful

Since the summer of 2023, the export of olive oil in large containers from Turkey has been restricted. The aim was to promote the export of olive oil in smaller containers. The chairman of the Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters Association (EZZİB), Davut Er, has now taken stock of the financial year to date – with sobering results. “High quality extra virgin oils turned into refining oils, which caused a 30% loss of value and a foreign exchange loss of approximately 300-400 million dollars when compared to our export amount”, Er said. In retrospect, therefore, the restrictions would have been beneficial neither for the domestic market nor for the export trade. “As we have stated at every opportunity, the way to increase our packaged olive oil exports is not to impose restrictions on bulk and barrelled products, but to encourage the export of packaged products”, he continued. Special promotion of the market is essential and must be maintained in the coming years.  

Everything back to square one?

Er cited the export sales of the season to date as an example. The export of table olives has already generated sales of USD 114 million this season (up to and including 31 March 2024), an increase of 18% compared to the same period last year. At the same time, the export value of olive oil has fallen by 62% to 31,000 mt in this period. He fears that maintaining the restrictions could cause lasting damage to the Turkish olive oil sector. Trade Minister Prof. Ömer Bolat told him that the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture would reconsider its decision on the measures once the results of this year's crop could be better assessed, which would be at the end of May to mid-June. According to current reports, the yields look promising and a decline in yields is not to be expected.

EZZİB is hoping for a quota as a provisional measure, which could be allocated to the relevant exporters. According to Er, Turkey started the current season with 375,000 mt of olive oil. Around 100,000 mt of this is to be exported this year, with a further 175,000 mt earmarked for domestic consumption. This would still mean that the country would start the 2024/2025 season with carry-over stocks of around 100,000 mt.

The upcoming renegotiation of the free trade agreement between Turkey and the UK will focus on olive oil exports, and Turkey hopes to secure a good market share if import duties on olive oil remain suspended.

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Mar 20, 2024
IZMIR. Turkey's export restrictions for olive oil failed to produce the desired effect, producers and traders are instead confronted with unpleasant consequences.
Jan 24, 2024
IZMIR. Prices for Turkish olives and olive oil have already tripled year-on-year, and market experts forecast further significant increases. The main reason for this is the decline in production in the growing countries.
Dec 14, 2023
IZMIR. Declining production results and a high inflation rate are causing the price of Turkish olive oil to increase. There is no end in sight for the time being. Experts are also sceptical about the yield potential for the coming year.