The pomegranate season in Turkey is about to take off, with harvest starting in about two weeks. For one exporter, volumes will be similar to previous seasons with a chance for a decrease of about 5 per cent.
Kerem Baltu is the export manager of Tümen Tarim, a fruit exporter based in Turkey. Their pomegranate season is coming up, with harvest starting in about two weeks. “The harvest of pomegranate in Turkey should start around the first of October and continue for twenty days, after which we’ll store them in a cooling house,” he said. Volumes for the pomegranates are looking solid: “This year we expect the total volume to be similar to previous years, maybe we’ll have about or 5 per cent less produce. However even during the harvest time, the weather can have a big impact and crack our volumes. Luckily the weather has been good to us this year, so the pomegranates will have better quality, color, skin and taste than previous years.”
Although volumes are looking similar to last year, the sizes are looking smaller this year. “What is different this year are the sizes of the pomegranates. The common sizes are between 9-12, but our sizes vary from 7 all the way up to 14. We expect to harvest around 5000 tons this season, which is our average annual volume. 90 per cent of this will be exported, mainly to the Balkans, Georgia, Italy, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and quite a few countries in the Middle-East. We would like to increase our market share in Europe to be able to export larger volumes directly, however the main challenge is the payment terms.”
Tümen Tarim will have pomegranates available for quite a few months to come, says Baltu. “The pomegranates will be ready for export starting in October and ending around the middle of March. We’re preparing for a good season, although prices will be higher this year. The costs of cultivating pomegranates has risen, so the price of the pomegranates has increased as well. We’ll have to wait and see how that trend develops, once we get a clear picture of what demand is like.”