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Olive oil: record production despite export restrictions

June 12, 2024 at 10:47 AM , Der AUDITOR
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IZMIR. Turkey is reckoning with a record olive oil production this year. Liftings of the current export ban could pave the way for a successful export season.

Around 650,000 mt of olive oil in 2024/2025

Turkey is looking forward to the 2024/2025 olive oil season as 200 million olive trees in 41 provinces will provide a historic olive oil yield of 400,000 mt. Turkey, which has 81 provinces, will thereby again be the second largest producing country in the world as was the case in 2022/2023. Industry leaders are calling for the current export ban for bulk and barreled olive oil, which has been in place since 1 August 2023, to be lifted and twenty institutions issued a joint declaration to this effect on 24 May. Issue is that total supplies reached 385,000 mt in 2023/2024, of which 200,000 mt will be transferred to the new season. These carry-over stocks combined with the anticipated record production along with 50,000 mt of olive oil from Afrin in Syria, which is controlled by Turkey, will lift total supplies to 650,000 mt in 2024/2025. These volumes will easily meet the needs of the domestic market and enable exports.

Ban with opposite effects

In addition, the industry points out that not only exporters but also producers and consumers have lost out from the ban. The losses in Spain and other producing countries presented a gap Turkish exporters could have filled in the last ten months. With world prices ranging at EUR 10 exporters sense that they are loosing high profits instead. To make matters worse the export restrictions caused olive oil to be stored under inappropriate conditions that have impacted quality. Losses amount to an estimated EUR 400 million. In terms of volume they dropped by around 70% to 60,000 mt in the first seven months of 2023/2024 as compared with the 150,000 mt exported in 2022/2023. Exporters have also lost their reputation in the international market. As the Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters Association highlights the ban, in addition, produced the opposite effect of what was originally intended by driving up domestic prices and prompting rates to surge from TRY 180 to TRY 350. Farmers have lost income too as they were unable to sell to exporters.

The declaration was partially successful. Olive oil industry represntatives are happy that the Ministry of Commerce has lifted the ban a bit by issuing a 50,000 mt export quota, which is valid until 1 November. This means that 25% of the remaining stocks can now be converted into added value. Turkey's olive oil exports may thereby generate an additional USD 300 million. Belief is that if the ban was lifted completely the industry would be able to reach an export target of USD 1 billion for the first time in 2024/2025.

 

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