Many producers entering an off-year paired with bad weather in the spring and summer caused olive oil production to fall level with the rolling five-year average. Despite this, production continues to trend upwards. Consumption stalled as well, partly due to the pandemic but was not as bad as initially feared. Exports increased.2020/2021 Turkey harvest report
Olive oil production in Turkey is expected to reach between 180,000 and 210,000 tons in the 2020/21 crop year. Scorching temperatures and a dry spring followed by heavy rains severely damaged the olive crop in the southwest of the country. This bad weather, combined with many producers entering an off-year in the trees’ alternate bearing cycle, led to a fairly significant production decrease. In the previous crop year, Turkey produced about 225,000 tons. However, this year’s total is on par with the five-year rolling average and producers believe that production in the country will continue to trend upwards. Olive fruit production is expected to continue increasing over the coming years as more trees planted in the past few years enter maturity, especially in high-density groves. While production is expected to continue its upward trend in the coming years, producers are also bracing for increasing difficulties caused by the climate. The western tip of the Anatolian peninsula, where most of Turkey’s olive production occurs, is expected to continue becoming hotter and drier. On top of the increasingly frequent climatic issues facing producers, the COVID-19 pandemic also presented various difficulties. Strict social distancing measures forced producers to limit the number of people in mills and caused difficulties for producers transporting their harvested olives to mills. Some producers reported increased production costs of up to 20 percent. The pandemic also impacted olive oil consumption in the country, which fell slightly to 170,000 tons in the 2020/21 crop year. Closures to the touristic sector and limits on the restaurant and hospitality sector severely lowered sales to these sectors. However, many producers reported a significant growth in household olive oil sales, with domestic sales growing by 25 percent during the pandemic. Many producers also said a boom in online sales, which they hope to maintain after the pandemic. Despite drops in production and consumption, Turkey’s olive oil exports grew to 50,000 tons in the current crop year. Increasing demand throughout the world coupled with poor harvests elsewhere in the Mediterranean led to the increased demand.
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