The competitiveness of Turkish olive oil on the world market

Turkekul B. , Gunden C. , Abay C. , Miran B.

JOURNAL OF FOOD AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENT, vol.8, no.2, pp.68-73, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Page Numbers: pp.68-73


This paper attempted to assess competitiveness vis-a-vis olive oil exporting countries over 1990-2006 period. For competitive comparison of Turkey with the main olive oil exporters, the Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA), Comparative Export Performance (CEP) and Market Share Index (MSI) were calculated. Using these indices in the multidimensional scaling (MDS) and fuzzy clustering methods, similarities and differences between the olive oil exporter countries were specified. The data source was the FAO AgroStat database considering export and import data. According to the results, Tunisia has a comparative advantage for all periods. Tunisia is followed by Spain and Greece. In contrast, Turkey seems to be losing its advantages. Turkey has faced stronger competition, especially from the European Union (EU) countries, but Turkey resembles Syria and Greece. According to MDS and fuzzy clustering, there are three main clusters. In the first cluster, the EU countries, showing a competitive position, are classified. The second cluster includes only Tunisia, with a comparative advantage. The last cluster is composed of Greece, Turkey and Syria, which are less competitive. In fact the explanation for Turkey losing its advantages is more complex than one may think. There is structural problem that is challenging Turkey. Natural constraints like alternance, land fragmentation, high level of small producers, the incapacity to invest in new technologies and marketing systems, high production costs are the main factors contributing to Turkey's competitiveness. For Turkey, the success to be obtained by increasing competitiveness on the international olive oil market depends on the production, organization and foreign trade policies adopted.