The Turkish apple season has been in full swing for a while now, but exciting times are coming up in the new year. Due to shortages in Europe, one Turkish exporter feels prices will rise after January. His advise for importers is to get a fixed price as soon as they can, as it will give them a great advantage by the time it’s February.
Apple cultivation isn’t new to Turkey, but exporting the fruit has only been done for about five to six years. According to Alper Kerim, CEO of Demir Fresh Fruits, Turkey has the potential to become a big player in the worldwide apple market: “We’ve been investing in cold stores and packing facilities in a big way last few years. Hopefully in ten years Turkey will be among the top three apple exporters in world. This year could be important, as Italy and Poland have had issues with the weather. This will affect Turkish apples in a positive way, because we don’t have these same issues in our crops. Although we have shortages due to weather conditions as well, the percentages are not even close to areas in Poland.”
Kerim even goes as far as to say Poland is the single most important competitor that Turkey has to deal with. “Italy is another story because their reputation and prices are simply more competitive than the Polish and Turkish apples. In fact, the weather issues in Poland are the only ones that will really impact the Turkish market as the Polish apples are direct rivals to our apples. Especially in India, as they are one of the biggest apple importers in the world.” Kerim continues. “If we talk about volumes Russia and India are the most important markets for Turkey. The apples from Turkey are very comfortable in the Russian market, as they are sold easily and transit times and connections with Russia make the process easier. However, in India we have to compete with Iran, Italy, USA and especially the Polish apples. Therefor the shortage of Polish apples will be a big opportunity for us this season.”
To stay ahead of the competition, Kerem and Demir Fresh Fruits have invested a lot of money in research and development: “We try to pack our products with the latest systems, according to the latest demands from the customers. This year especially, we feel very confident about our product and its quality. And so far we’ve received very positive feedback from our clients. And positive feedback from customers is always priceless for anyone providing a service.”
Kerem predicts that prices of apples will increase significantly after January, when a lot of stock will deplete. “Because of shortages in other European countries, Turkey will become important for the market right after January hits us. I expect prices to increase rapidly at this point as well, which is why we always ask our customers to come visit and set up a plan for the upcoming months. Fixing the price will be an advantage when it comes to February or March and by signing contracts and programs our buyers can ensure they’ll stay competitive.”