Olive oil price hike hits Turkey, may ‘trigger boycott’

Olive oil price hike hits Turkey, may ‘trigger boycott’

Olive oil price hike hits Turkey, may ‘trigger boycott’

The wholesale price per liter of extra-virgin olive oil has jumped from 7.5 Turkish Liras to nearly 10 liras over the last month. DHA Photo

Low olive oil production in Turkey, combined with indications that output in Spain and Italy will likewise remain low this season, has triggered fears that the Mediterranean product will see a large price hike this year.

Since the season began last month, the wholesale price per liter of extra-virgin olive oil has already jumped from 7.5 Turkish Liras to nearly 10 liras.

Meanwhile, producers are reportedly holding onto their stock, expecting that the prices will rise even higher, as some sector representatives have warned against a possible boycott by consumers.

“People may react if the consumer price goes over 20 liras, this might cause a boycott,” said Cahit Çetin, the head of Tariş, an olive and olive oil cooperative.

Çetin told Anadolu Agency that prices ind Turkey are too dependent on the Spanish and Italian markets. “We have not even come to the halfway point of the harvest season and most of the olives have not been picked yet, but an urgent demand has hiked prices,” he said.

Gürkan Renklidağ, head of the Union of Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters, said the current prices were not beneficial for exports and posed the risk of losing foreign markets.

Renklidağ demanded that the Agriculture Ministry double the amount of government support, adding that Turkish prices are still around 1 euro higher than other world markets.

“We want support, particularly in order to not lose the U.S., China, Japan and Saudi Arabia markets,” he said.

Pre-season estimates showed that Turkey would produce around 189,000 tons of olive oil this year.
Disastrous olive harvests in much of southern Europe have sent wholesale prices sky-rocketing.  

Nowhere has the impact of unusual summer weather been felt more painfully than in Tuscany and Umbria, where the subtly aromatic, extra-virgin oils reaped from timeless landscapes provide the industry’s global benchmark for quality, Agence France-Presse reported Dec. 8.

In Spain, which accounted for half the world’s production of all grades of olive oil last year, a toxic cocktail of scorching temperatures, drought and bacteria is expected to halve output this year.

Meanwhile, bacteria threaten to decimate olive groves in southern Italy.

In the Italian heartland of beautifully-packaged oils that connoisseurs discuss like fine wines, it was a humble fly that wreaked havoc after being handed optimal breeding conditions by the erratic climate.

Figures from the International Olive Council suggest wholesale prices of Italian oil have risen 37 percent since 2013.