Poor olive harvests in other Mediterranean countries and the rapid devaluation of the Turkish lira have opened up new markets for Turkish olive oil, reports Olive Oil Times.

The Turkish lira had been steadily losing value this year and experienced a 20% drop in value at the beginning of August, from which it had not recovered, the report said.

In the first 10 months of this harvest season, Turkey had exported 56,521 tonnes, a 43% increase compared with the same period last year, according to Davut Er, the deputy chair of the Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters Association.

Er expects Turkey to export 65,000 tonnes by the end of the harvest season, which would be the highest total in the past five years, Olive Oil Times wrote.

The world’s fifth largest olive oil producing nation had already generated US$341M from exports this year and was aiming to reach US$400M by the end of this season, Er said.

The International Olive Council (IOC) was forecasting EU producers to have their lowest yield this year since the 2007/08 harvest season, opening the door for Turkish producers to expand their presence in many of the 122 countries to which they already export olive oil, Olive Oil Times said.

Er said that while bulk olive oil exports had grown, Turkey had the capacity to export packed olives and olive oil.

Packaged olive oil exports grew by 80% compared with last year, making up 32% of overall olive oil exports, up from nearly 26% last year.