Olive oil exports in Turkey fall by 33 percent due to skyrocketing prices

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Turkey’s olive oil exports have declined by 33 percent because of higher prices compared to European market prices, figures by Aegean Exporters’ Associations revealed, as reported by Anadolu Agency.

While big olive oil producers had their worst year in more than a decade, Turkey was unable to turn this situation to its advantage despite increasing production, as some merchants stockpiled their oil, causing prices to rise dramatically, a sector representative said to daily Hüriyet.

According to figures, the country only earned $66 million from olive oil exports between Nov. 1, 2014 and Oct. 31, 2015, compared to $100 million earned in the 2013-14 crop year.

Figures also showed that the country exported 14,856 tons of olive oil from Nov. 2014 to Oct. 2015, nearly half of what it exported last year during the same period (26,343 tons).

The deputy head of the Union of Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters, Emre Uygun, told Anadolu Agency that the 2014-15 crop year was not good for Turkish olive oil exporters.

“Olive oil prices in Turkey are higher than in Europe. That’s why our exports have declined,” Uygun said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.

The association said in January that Turkish olive oil prices (3.62 euros) are a euro higher than those in other European markets.

“The new crop year which started in Nov. 1 will produce enough oil for domestic consumption. This shows that exports will decline further in coming months,” Uydun added.

Spain, which accounted for half the world’s production of all grades of olive oil last year, had a mediocre year due to a toxic cocktail of scorching temperatures, drought and bacteria. The same reasons hampered France and Italy’s productions, whereas Turkey, a leading producer, increased its production by 12 percent compared to last year. Meanwhile, the total world production of olive oil decreased by one-third.

In spite of all the obstacles, France, Italy and Spain increased their prices only by 25 percent, while Turkey, despite the escalation in production, raised its prices by 60 percent, making the oil in Turkey the most expensive in the world.

The main reason prices rose so dramatically is because producers arrested their supplies while companies buying the products stockpiled them, both sides expecting the prices to further increase, according to sector representatives.

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