`Turkey Lifts Ban on Bulk Olive Oil Exports Ahead of Schedule - Olive Oil Times

Turkey Lifts Ban on Bulk Olive Oil Exports Ahead of Schedule

Sep. 1, 2021
Costas Vasilopoulos

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The Turkish Ministry of Commerce has again per­mit­ted bulk olive oil exports after ban­ning them in March.

The Turkish gov­ern­ment ini­tially decided to pro­hibit bulk exports over con­cerns about price spec­u­la­tion and short­ages in the domes­tic mar­ket. The deci­sion was fur­ther fueled by the uncer­tainty cre­ated by the Covid-19 pan­demic.

The news… that this ban was lifted before the antic­i­pated date was wel­comed by all par­ties, espe­cially with the expec­ta­tion of a bet­ter crop yield.- Mustafa Tan, chair­man, Turkish National Olive and Olive Oil Council

Initially sched­uled to last until the end of October, the export ban had caused great con­tro­versy in the sec­tor.

Turkish pro­duc­ers were unsure of the rea­sons that led the gov­ern­ment to impose the pro­hi­bi­tion. At the same time, the Aegean Olive Oil Exporters Association (EZZIB) had crit­i­cized the restric­tion claim­ing that there was no short­age of olive oil and the bulk export ban would harm the coun­try’s olive oil pro­duc­ers and exporters.

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The dis­missal of the ban sooner than expected was wel­comed by Turkey’s National Olive and Olive Oil Council (UZZK).

This deci­sion [to ban exports] was neg­a­tively received by the sec­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives under the umbrella of our national olive and olive oil coun­cil,” Mustafa Tan, the chair­man of the board of the UZZK, said.

The news at the gen­eral assem­bly of the National Olive and Olive Oil Council, which took place on July 29, 2021, that this ban was lifted before the antic­i­pated date, was wel­comed by all par­ties, espe­cially with the expec­ta­tion of a bet­ter crop yield,” he added. We would like to express our grat­i­tude to the rel­e­vant min­istries on behalf of our board of direc­tors.”

However, other exporters were sup­port­ive of the restric­tion, which they said pro­tected farm­ers from price spec­u­la­tors, but crit­i­cized the gov­ern­ment for poorly com­mu­ni­cat­ing their pur­pose.

Contrary to other sec­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives who were out­raged at that time, we explained that con­sid­er­ing the lack of yield, there was no decrease in prices and there would be no harm for the farm­ers,” said Alper Alhat, the chair­per­son of the Akhisar Commodity Exchange in Manisa province. We [hoped to pre­vent] panic and dis­rupt the efforts of those who tried to snatch farm­ers’ prod­ucts for low prices.”

Unfortunately, the Ministry of Commerce did not man­age this process well,” he added. It did not inform the pub­lic prop­erly. Many com­mer­cial griev­ances and some unjust gains have arisen because the min­istry tried to impose the ban on the exporter’s asso­ci­a­tion with­out clearly deter­min­ing and pub­lish­ing it in the Official Gazette.”

According to the Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters Association, Turkey’s exports of olive oil (both pack­aged and in bulk) amounted to 20,000 tons in the first seven months of the 2020/21 crop year (from November 2020 to May 2021), down from 31,000 tons in the same period last year.



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