This season, Turkey exported 1,7 million tons of citrus of which 563 thousand 703 tons were lemons.
Despite a harsh winter, lemon exports increased by 15% compared to last season. Turkey earned 266 million 959 thousand USD (around 238,1 million Euro) from lemon export.
Kemal Kacmaz, the chairman of the National Citrus Council shared his views on the citrus season which started in August 20th, 2018 and ended in April 30th, 2019.
Kacmaz emphasized that the most important sub-group in fresh produce export is citrus with a share of 50%. Turkey exported 1 million 711 thousand 903 tons of citrus and earned 722 million 136 thousand USD (around 644,2 million Euro) in return.
Stating that the sector had difficulties due to bad weather conditions, Kacmaz said: "Due to heavy rains and flood producers could not go into their gardens and they could not harvest on time. Despite this, we managed to increase our exports."
Russia and Iraq were top importers of Turkish lemons with 142 thousand tons. Ukraine followed these countries with 53 thousand tons, Saudi Arabia with 38 thousand tons and Romania with 27 thousand tons.
Kacmaz pointed out to the increase in exports to Europe and indicated that Turkish citrus producers and exporters can meet global standards in production and packaging.
"Citrus sector will take a leap forward"
Stating that the council wants to expand its markets not only in Europe but also in the Far East, Kacmaz said: "We target some far away countries. We wish to increase our exports to these countries. Next season, we would especially like to enter to the Chinese market. We keep working on this. Our ministry is also working on this. Once the bureaucratic issues are solved, the citrus market will take a leap forward."