`Citing Rising Prices and Low Margins, Turkey Bans Bulk Olive Oil Exports - Olive Oil Times

Citing Rising Prices and Low Margins, Turkey Bans Bulk Olive Oil Exports

By Ofeoritse Daibo
Aug. 18, 2023 14:29 UTC

Officials in Turkey have pro­hib­ited bulk olive oil exports until November 1st, cit­ing ris­ing domes­tic prices.

The com­bi­na­tion of the country’s record-break­ing olive oil pro­duc­tion in the 2022/23 crop year, com­bined with poor har­vests in south­ern Europe and North Africa, has led to a spike in global olive oil prices and increased demand for Turkish olive oil.

According to the country’s trade min­istry, Turkish olive oil exports by vol­ume from November 2022 to July 2023 increased by 240 per­cent com­pared to the same period of the pre­vi­ous sea­son and reached 136,500 tons.

See Also:Concerns Mount Over Olive Oil Shortage in Spain

Over the same period, higher-value pack­aged exports rose by 3 per­cent, while bulk olive oil exports quin­tu­pled. As a result, bulk olive oil exports increased from 42 per­cent of total exports to 83 per­cent.

The min­istry attrib­uted the mete­oric rise in bulk exports to increased demand from bot­tlers in Spain and Italy, which bought 21 and 44 times more bulk olive oil, respec­tively, from November 2022 to July 2023 com­pared to the same period in the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

According to the International Olive Council, Turkey’s olive oil exports are pro­jected to reach a record-high 134,000 tons in the cur­rent crop year, which runs from October 2022 to September 2023.

However, the min­istry also cited high cus­toms duties imposed by the European Union on indi­vid­u­ally-pack­aged imports for the much lower increase in demand and cited these trade restric­tions as a rea­son to pro­hibit bulk exports.

The sig­nif­i­cant rise in bulk exports com­bined with low har­vest expec­ta­tions for the 2023/24 crop year has also con­tributed to the 102-per­cent rise in olive oil prices in Turkey from June 2022 to June 2023.

Over the same period, prices in Spain, Italy and Greece rose by 84 per­cent, 58 per­cent and 72 per­cent, respec­tively.

Along with its dis­may at European restric­tions on indi­vid­u­ally pack­aged exports, the min­istry cited ris­ing domes­tic prices as another rea­son to pro­hibit bulk exports.

The bulk olive oil export ban is the third one in as many years. In April 2021, the country’s trade min­istry imposed a five-month ban on bulk olive oil exports, cit­ing uncer­tainty caused by the unfurl­ing Covid-19 pan­demic.

Almost exactly a year later, in April 2022, the min­istry moved to pro­hibit bulk olive oil exports due to con­cern over short­ages in the coun­try and sky­rock­et­ing infla­tion. The ban remained in place until the end of the year.

This year’s export pro­hi­bi­tion appears to fall in line with the country’s broader export strat­egy, which aims to increase its export-to-import ratio by 80 per­cent by shift­ing away from low-qual­ity bulk exports to higher-qual­ity added-value exports across a range of sec­tors: from tech­nol­ogy to agri­cul­tural goods.

We are work­ing with all our strength to reach the export tar­get of $265 bil­lion for 2023,” said Mustafa Gültepe, pres­i­dent of the Turkish Exporters Assembly.


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