Turkey's olive and olive oil exports in the first two months of this year reached $121.7 million with a 125.3 percent growth over the same period of 2017, according to the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TİM).
The U.S. was the top destination for the olive and olive oil sector, which saw exports to the country grow four times, hitting $43.6 million, in comparison to January-February 2017.
The bimonthly figures, which stood at $54 million last year, exceeded $100 million for the first time since 2002.
Olive and olive oil exports in the first two months of the year were also recorded as the sector's “highest January-February figures of all time.”
The industry, which also exported olive and olive oil products worth $3 million to Japan, $2.8 million to Romania, $2.4 million to Morocco, $1.3 million to Ivory Coast and $1 million to the U.K., crossing the $1 million-threshold for 11 different countries.
During the period, olive exports to Sudan experienced the highest increase as products worth $66,000 was sent to the country. No exports were made to the country in January-February 2017.
Among the other emerging markets, Somalia, Hungary, Israel, Japan and Qatar stood out as Turkey exported olive and olive oil to more than 90 counters in the first two months of this year.
With exports worth $62 million in the first two months, Izmir alone was responsible for more than 50.9 percent of olive and olive oil exports. With $21.4 million, it was followed by Istanbul, which doubled it last year's output figures.
In the first two months of the year, a total of 35 provinces were involved in olive exports. Among them, Balıkesir stood out as increased exports from $136,000 in the first two months of 2017, to $7.6 million in January-February this year.
Turkish agency supports olive production in Montenegro
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) is now helping Montenegro advance its olive production to be able to penetrate world markets more effectively, a statement by the agency.
According to the statement, the agency opened an olive oil production plant in Montenegro's coastal city of Ulcinj in the village of Pistula to support farmers in areas with the capacity of producing 200 tons of olive oil per season.
“The methods and technologies used in the production of olive oil in Montenegro are a little backward in comparison to today's standards, and this situation affects the income level and life standards of oil producers negatively in spite of the existence of suitable lands,” the statement said.
TİKA's support of olive production in Montenegro is taking place under the project, “The Balkans and Eastern European Countries Food and Life Security Support Program”, which aims at enabling food production and delivering services compatible with those in the world markets.