Turkish Government Eases Olive Oil Export Ban Amid Industry Pressure

Turkish Government Eases Olive Oil Export Ban Amid Industry Pressure

Turkey partially lifted its olive oil export ban, boosting the sector’s income by $300M. Our detailed report explains the impact and prospects.

Turkey has taken a significant step by partially lifting the ban on olive oil exports, following intense lobbying from the sector, according to a report by Olive Oil Times.

This decision allows Turkish producers to export 50,000 tonnes of bulk olive oil until November 1, 2024.

Impact of the Ban Lift

Welcoming this development, Mehmet Emre Uygun, chairman of the Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters’ Association (EZZIB), stated that this move is expected to boost producers’ income by $300M (€279M).

According to EZZIB data, Turkey has 200,000 tonnes of olive oil in stock.

Industry’s Response

While the announcement has been met with optimism, many industry stakeholders believe it does not need to go further.

The bulk export restrictions, introduced in August to lower domestic prices, have not benefitted consumers and have nearly doubled olive oil prices.

Uygun highlighted the significant decline in exports, which fell around 70% in the seven months of the 2023/24 crop year compared to the 2022/23 crop year when exports were 150,000 tonnes.

Olive Oil Export Data

Crop YearExports (tonnes)Export Decline (%)
2022/23150,000
2023/24 (7 months)45,00070%

The Call for Complete Ban Removal

Industry leaders, including Istanbul Commodity Exchange chair Ali Kopuz, have urged the government to lift the ban entirely.

Kopuz emphasized that Turkey has twice the olive oil required for the domestic market.

He pointed out that the ban was intended to regulate the market by considering yield and stock situations.

However, with new crop expectations and existing stocks, Turkey has approximately double the olive oil needed domestically.

Future Prospects

The EZZIB forecasts production to reach 400,000 tonnes in the 2024/25 crop year.

This is slightly below the record high yield of the 2022/23 crop year but significantly above the previous year’s harvest.

Combined with existing stocks and production from Afrin, a region in northern Syria occupied by Turkey, Uygun estimated that the country could have 650,000 tonnes of olive oil available by the end of the harvest.

Olive Oil Production Forecast

Crop YearProduction (tonnes)Note
2022/23Record High
2023/24Not Available
2024/25400,000Slightly below record

“If bans are left behind, we believe we will reach the export target of $1bn (€932M) for the first time in our history in the 2024/25 crop year,” Uygun said optimistically.

Conclusion

The partial lifting of the olive oil export ban is a positive step, but the industry continues to advocate for its complete removal to maximize economic benefits.

With favorable production forecasts and substantial existing stocks, Turkey’s olive oil sector is poised for significant growth if regulatory hurdles are minimized.

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