Last year, Turkey produced 500.000 tons of hazelnuts and the country's global exports share was lower. This year, the production volume will increase to 800.000 tons. Thus the country will increase its global production share to 70% and expects an important boost in exports.
Under the "EU - Turkey Cooperation Scheme on Hazelnuts", delegations from producer and consumer countries met in Istanbul and discussed about the future of hazelnuts. In the meeting hosted by the Turkish Trade Ministry, Turkey was represented by Istanbul Hazelnut and Hazelnut Products Exporters' Association's Chairman Ali Haydar Goren.
Chairman Goren emphasised that this year's production will not only maintain Turkey's top position but also widen the gap towards its competitors.
"Italy is Turkey's closest competitor in global hazelnut production. Last year, Italy's production volume was 125.000 tons and had a share of 14% in the global market. This year, it is expected that the country's hazelnut production volume decreases to 100.000 and that its global market share will drop to 9%. Azerbaijan is another competitor in hazelnut production. This country's production will also decrease; from 68.000 to 42.000, and its global market share will decrease from 7% to 4%." said Goren.
"Export value will exceed 2 billion USD"
Turkey exported 270.000 tons of hazelnuts and hazelnut products in the season 2018-2019 and earned over 1.5 billion USD (1.34 billion Euro).
Stating that hazelnut exports reached a record high in September Goren said: "Last September, the hazelnut sector exported 130.2 million USD worth of products. This September, we increased exports by 112.6% and reached an export value of 277 million USD. This also increased the share of agriculture exports to 13.86% in overall exports of the country. We expect to export more than 2 billion USD (1.79 billion Euro) worth of hazelnuts by the end of this season."
Turkey exports hazelnuts mostly to Europe. The country's top 10 hazelnut export markets include 9 European countries and China. The top three export markets are Germany, Italy and France. Export to China increases every year, and thus the country ranked within the top 10 export markets.
Ali Haydar Goren underlined that Turkey needs to invest in sustainable production, promote health benefits of hazelnuts and expand its use. He also emphasised that Turkey should continue to produce quality hazelnuts in order to keep its global leadership position.
"Recently, the most important problem has been pests in the gardens. We need to continue pest control in order to protect hazelnuts. Producers who apply pesticides in their own gardens should be further supported." said Goren.