Olive oil production, exports and consumption all reached their second highest levels on record in Turkey in 2019. In spite of increasingly hot and dry weather, super intensive groves in the country's south continue to be productive. Increased education about its health benefits has helped to grow domestic consumption as well2019/2020 Turkey harvest report
Turkish olive oil production reached 225,000 tons in 2019, the second highest level on record and an increase of 20 percent compared with the rolling five year average. While most olive growers in Turkey enjoyed good olive growing conditions, including a hot and dry summer with rain in the springtime, growers in the south of the country had a better harvest than growers in the north. Unseasonably heavy rainfall in the spring damaged many blossoming olive trees in the north, leaving fewer fruits to be harvested in the autumn. Some areas were also impacted by wildfires, which were kindled by the very hot and dry summer. However, the majority of Turkey’s olive oil production takes place in the south of the country, where modern, super high density olive groves have been cultivated. The olive groves in the north tend to be traditional ones, harvesting fruits from older trees. There is optimism in the olive oil sector that Turkey can become the second largest producer, overtaking Italy, Greece and Tunisia. However, this would require traditional growers in the north to convert their groves to super high density ones and would also require many growers to invest in irrigation. Many growers in the southwest of Turkey are already watching the climate become increasingly hot and dry. Many growers who have never needed irrigation systems are beginning to invest in them as rain falls less frequently and the start of the harvest is pushed up into September. Along with production, olive oil exports also increased, reaching 60,000 tons, the second highest level since the 2012/13 crop year. Many of these olive oils were destined for Spain and Italy to be blended with other oils before being re-exported. Other destinations include Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Olive oil consumption also increased, reaching 170,000 tons, the second highest level on record. Increasing awareness about the health benefits of olive oil, coupled with its use in old traditions and low prices has helped drive up demand for the product.
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