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ALPER ALHAT: SHELF PRICES FALL WITH SUBSIDIES, NOT BANS!

Press release…

The export ban on olive oil has created a shock effect in the sector!

Akhisar, a district of Manisa province, Commodity Exchange President Alper Alhat said that the domestic market should be supported instead of the export ban.

“If shelf prices are to be reduced, olive oil should be sold to the end consumer at 100 liras, just like the subsidised cheap meat sales of the Meat and Fish Institution (ESK) in the Agricultural Credit Cooperatives, where our low-income citizens shop and the difference between the cost and the cost should be covered from the money accumulated in the Support and Price Stability Fund (DFİF) pool,” Alhat said.

The Ministry of Trade imposed an export ban on bulk and barreled olive oil as of 1 August 2023 until 1 November 2023 while declaring that the increasing foreign demand in olive oil and the rise in world prices continue to have a negative impact on domestic consumer prices. In the statement made, it was announced that sector representatives were informed that additional measures were taken for olive oil exports.

Alper Alhat

Pointing out that the state has the authority and responsibility to take regulatory measures in all sectors, Alhat noted, “However, how much these practices serve the intended purpose should be measured from time to time. Positive and negative results should be carefully monitored and when necessary, revisions should be made to optimise the benefits of the sector and the country.”

Reminding that olive oil exporters experienced two different bans imposed by two different ministries two years in a row, Alhat explained, “In the first year, there was a decision of the Ministry of Trade that was not published in the Official Gazette due to the lack of harvest and pandemic uncertainties. However, for some reason, during the ban, a strange situation occurred where more bulk exports were realised than the previous year. In the second year, due to the uncertainty of the Russia-Ukrania War, this time, instead of the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry imposed a ban published in the Official Gazette as it should be, and this ban was lifted in a short time with sectoral demands.”

“THE BAN IS USELESS”
When we came to this year, the Ministry of Trade first announced that it put a fund of 200 USD per tonne and it was said that there would definitely not be a ban, but within two weeks, the news of the ban started to be talked about again, Alhat underlined and continued as follows:
“As I say, it started to be talked about because we have not yet seen a decision published in the Official Gazette or a written notification to the companies, just like the first year. There is only a press release from the Ministry saying ‘we have taken additional measures’. Such restrictions, which have not been published in the Official Gazette and whose framework is not clear, do not befit. We are experiencing the negative consequences of sudden rule changes without consulting with sector representatives, without giving them the opportunity to prepare, without caring about the possible commercial consequences and we do not find this right.”

Alhat also emphasised that the measures taken in these two years should be measured for their contribution to the targeted goals or the negative results they created and added, “If the aim is to reduce oil prices in order to fight inflation, as we have said from the very beginning, it will not decrease with a ban. We have observed this in these two trials, and we should have realised this by now.”

SOLUTION SUGGESTION
Reminding that the Turkish olive oil producer did its duty by not disrupting production and not disrupting the supply chain even in the most difficult periods of the pandemic, Alhat concluded, “Consistent policies that we can see ahead of us should be determined, not daily. Making a concrete suggestion to reduce the price. Let’s use the money to be accumulated from the fund cuts within the scope of DFİF, which came into force two weeks ago, to support domestic consumption together with the export of packaged olive oil. In line with the desire of our President, let’s sell olive oil at 100 liras to the end consumer in the Agricultural Credit Cooperatives, where our low-income citizens shop, like the subsidised cheap meat sales of the Meat and Fish Institute and cover the difference between the cost and the difference from the money accumulated in the DFİF pool.”

About İsmail Uğural

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