The shortage of olive oil production in Mediterranean countries has negatively affected domestic prices, prompting the Turkish Trade Ministry to introduce additional measures, including the suspension of olive oil exports until November, to prevent a price increase in the domestic market.
In a statement, the ministry said that due to the drought in Europe, olive oil production in the world, especially in Spain and Italy, decreased by 20 percent in the 2022/2023 season, while Türkiye‘s production increased by 62 percent.
In the statement, it was noted that the rapid increase in exports of olive oil in bulk and in barrels was reflected in domestic prices and that the increase in retail prices of olive oil in the domestic market was much higher than the general price increase in the last one-year period.
The statement said that Türkiye’s exports of packaged olive oil to EU member states, which are value-added and intended for the final consumer, are very low due to high tariffs imposed by the European Union (EU) and pointed out that Italy and Spain, in particular, process the bulk and drum olive oil they import from Türkiye and sell it to third countries.
The ministry recalled that the decree regulating the deduction of 20 cents per kilogram on all types of exports of bulk and cask olive oil entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette on July 19.
The statement said that the Trade Ministry is closely monitoring the current developments in Türkiye and the world regarding foreign trade, domestic supply, foreign and domestic prices in the olive oil sector in close contact with the stakeholders of the sector.
“In this context, it was noted that the negative impact on domestic consumer prices of exports of bulk and barreled olive oil, which have increased significantly due to increased foreign demand and world prices caused by declining olive oil yields in the world, continues,” the statement read.
“Under these circumstances, the ministry has carried out a reevaluation and additional measures have been put into effect for bulk and barreled olive oil exports until Nov. 1, the beginning of the next olive oil harvest period,” it added.
Due to the drought in Spain, Greece and Italy, Türkiye, which exported at record levels last season, was also conspicuous on the world markets this year. Davut Er, president of the Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters’ Association, said Turkish exporters would have to turn down the opportunity with these bans.
He said that 140,000 tonnes of olive oil have been exported so far, emphasizing that there are 130,000 tonnes of oil in the domestic market and that there is no stock problem.
Er said 75 percent of the exports were bulk and cask olive oil.
“Olive oil producers started making money from their product after years,” he said.
“Exports had been banned twice before, and domestic consumption did not even increase by 5 percent. The same people continued to consume it.”