Record-High Olive Oil Exports Projected in Turkey

According to the International Olive Council, Turkish exports will rise sharply this year to 134,000 tons, more than triple the five-year average.
Balikesir, Turkey
By Costas Vasilopoulos
Apr. 3, 2023 12:53 UTC

Following an unprece­dented har­vest of more than 420,000 tons of olive oil in Turkey, pre­lim­i­nary esti­mates by the International Olive Council indi­cate that the coun­try’s exports will hit a record-high 134,000 tons this crop year.

The fig­ure rep­re­sents an almost three-fold increase in Turkey’s olive oil exports com­pared to last year when ship­ments from the coun­try amounted to 58,000 tons.

This is a year of great oppor­tu­nity. We can increase both our exports and busi­ness con­sump­tion.- Mustafa Tan, chair­man, Turkish National Olive and Olive Oil Council

Mustafa Tan, the chair­man of the board of Turkey’s National Olive and Olive Oil Council (UZZK), con­firmed the IOC’s export fig­ure, ascrib­ing part of the increase to the steep drop in global olive oil pro­duc­tion.

It is deter­mined that these fig­ures will be real­ized with a high degree of accu­racy in the cur­rent year,” Tan told Olive Oil Times. Of course, there may be some updates due to the earth­quake zone. But this year, Turkey will increase its olive oil and olive exports in every way. This is also very closely related to the lack of sup­ply in the world.”

See Also:Turkish Parliament Stops Coal Mining Operations in Olive Groves

Turkey con­tin­ues its pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing activ­i­ties related to olive cul­ti­va­tion despite the earth­quake dis­as­ter we are cur­rently expe­ri­enc­ing,” he added. The coun­try will recover from this dif­fi­cult process with gov­ern­ment mea­sures and the self­less efforts and con­tri­bu­tion of the peo­ple.”

Producers and exporters in Turkey attrib­uted the expected record-high exports to sev­eral fac­tors, includ­ing the gap in the global olive oil mar­ket that remains to be filled.

In 2022/23, the oppor­tu­nity for Turkey has come from the low­ered pro­duc­tion in Spain,” Can Candeger, a man­ag­ing part­ner at Artem Oliva, one of Turkey’s largest olive oil pro­duc­ing and export­ing com­pa­nies, told Olive Oil Times.

This sit­u­a­tion has cre­ated a dou­ble advan­tage for the Turkish olive oil indus­try, ” he added. We are in line with the IOC’s pro­jec­tion of around 130,000 to 140,000 tons of olive oil exports this sea­son. The rea­son for our expec­ta­tions being higher than the lin­ear increase com­pared to the pro­duc­tion trend is mainly because of the addi­tional com­pet­i­tive advan­tage Turkey has gained.”

Candeger cited the com­pet­i­tive prices, the increased aware­ness of Turkish olive oil brands and the proven track record of high-qual­ity pro­duc­tion as the rea­sons for the increase in exports in recent years.

This sit­u­a­tion has shaped the sup­ply side of Turkish olive oil, which means that new brands enter­ing the mar­ket are also show­ing a greatly increas­ing trend,” he added.

Candeger fur­ther noted that the grow­ing global appetite for healthy food helps boost exports of Turkish olive oil.

There is an increas­ing demand for olive oil not only from con­sumers but also from com­pa­nies that use it as an ingre­di­ent in their food pro­duc­tion lines,” he said. The main fac­tor behind this is the healthy eat­ing trend.”

According to the IOC, as of 2022, this is the first time that such a trend has been observed over three con­sec­u­tive crop years, let alone dur­ing two years of the Covid-19 pan­demic,” Candeger added.

Davut Er, the pres­i­dent of the Aegean Exporters’ Associations (EIB), empha­sized that Europe should turn to Turkish olive oil this sea­son, cit­ing Spain’s poor har­vest.

The European Union needs Turkish olive oil, so it has to focus on alter­na­tive mar­kets,” Er said. The devel­op­ments in the world olive oil mar­ket favor Turkey.”

Others, how­ever, argued that sig­nif­i­cant hin­drances exist in for­eign mar­kets for Turkish olive oil, assert­ing that any sig­nif­i­cant export growth should pri­mar­ily ben­e­fit the country’s olive grow­ers.


I do not believe sta­tis­tics made by some pre­vi­sion,” Cem Erdilek, the gen­eral man­ager of award-win­ning Darvari Gida Tarim from Çanakkale in the north­west of Turkey, told Olive Oil Times.

Statistics show mil­lions and mil­lions in earn­ings, but these do not go to the farm­ers’ pock­ets,” he added. The prob­lem for Turkish exporters is the global eco­nomic cri­sis.”

Erdilek also noted that a shift in Darvari’s export strat­egy was required to avoid deal­ing with exist­ing trade bar­ri­ers in the E.U.

We have to pay an extra tax of €1.10 per liter of olive oil exported to the European Union,” he said. This is a big prob­lem for our pric­ing. For this rea­son, our main focus of exports is now East Asia and the Middle East.”

We have [in Turkey] this amount of olive oil, but I am not cer­tain we can achieve the pro­jected export quan­ti­ties due to the tight mar­ket restric­tions all over the world,” Cem added. I hope, how­ever, we can suc­ceed in export­ing it and share the profit with our grow­ers who need to bal­ance their income.”

On the other hand, Tan had pre­vi­ously urged Turkish author­i­ties to refrain from impos­ing any lim­i­ta­tions on the exports of Turkish olive oil this year.

This is a year of great oppor­tu­nity,” he said. We can increase both our exports and busi­ness con­sump­tion. There are all kinds of pos­si­bil­i­ties for this. No deci­sion should be taken to restrict our exports. Our gov­ern­ment should sup­port the pro­duc­ers more than ever in the face of ris­ing costs.”

A ban on bulk olive oil exports was imposed in Turkey in 2021 and 2022 to address mar­ket imbal­ances and ris­ing prices. However, indus­try experts and exporters’ asso­ci­a­tions dis­puted the neces­sity of the export bans.


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