Turkey’s olive oil exports have declined by 52 percent in the past two months when compared to the same period last year.
Exports are down because the country’s olive oil producers are holding on to their stocks with expectations that prices will rise following the poor harvests in Italy and Spain due to bad weather and pest infestations, and hopes they will be able to cash in on high international demand for olive oil.
See more: Complete Coverage of the 2014 Olive Harvest
According to figures released by the Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters Association (EZZİB), Turkey exported 3,600 tons of olive oil in the last two months, compared to 7,600 tons during the same period last year, a decline of 52 percent.
While Turkey’s olive oil producers wait for prices to rise, they do not want to lose their foreign markets. “Our producers are now exporting their products for almost nothing just not to lose their market share to their strong Spanish and Italian competitors,” reported Gürkan Renklidağ, the head of EZZİB, to Hürriyet, one of Turkey’s major newspapers.
During the 2013/14 crop year, Turkey was the fourth-largest olive oil producer, with a 16.7 global share of production. The government hoped to boost Turkey’s ranking by introducing incentives in the form of subsidies and tax breaks. For the current 2014/15 crop year, estimates by the International Olive Council (IOC) put Turkey’s output at 190,000 tons, the same as the previous year.