The Turkish cherry season is in full swing. The Turkish exporters have been aggressive in their investments and marketing, mostly to increase their market share in the Chinese market. As the weather has been favorable, it’s expected the Turkish will have a solid season in terms of both volumes and quality, one exporter says.
Demir Fresh Fruits, a Turkish exporter of various fruits, is positive about the current cherry season. Alper Kerim, general manager, expects Turkey to grow their exports to be more in line with the country’s production: “We expect good and healthy volumes this year. Weather conditions are going very well so far and we are totally positive about the quality this season. Turkish companies are launching large marketing campaigns, as Turkey is one of the top three cherry producers in the world, but the export percentage is low. Big companies are investing in cherry orchards and packhouses and there is 10-year plan to significantly grow the Turkish cherry name on the global market.”
According to Kerim the growth for Turkish cherries also has to do with the developments on the Chinese market. “China is a giant market for cherries and up until now Turkey couldn’t get a piece of the pie, despite these huge production volumes. China and Turkey established a trade agreement last year and China’s doors will soon be open for Turkish cherries. This explains why Turkish exporters have invested, as we’re all looking to get our fair share from the Chinese market.”
Volumes for cherries by Demir Fresh Fruits are expected to double this season, thanks for favorably weather conditions, Kerim explains. “The early varieties have just started in Turkey and the Napoleon variety will be available around the third week of May. So far weather conditions are very well, if we don’t see any huge rainstorms or hail I expect the harvest will be in very good condition. Our volumes will be doubled compared to last year, as we’ve made big investments for our cherry operations, as other exporters in Turkey have done.”
Kerim expects the Turkish exporters to be able to heavily compete with the other large cherry growing countries. “Turkey’s biggest competitors are USA and Spain. Our produce can easily compete in terms of quality and I expect the Turkish exporters to be much more aggressive on the pricing. Turkey will be very powerful on cherry export this season and I would suggest to importers to start with Turkish cherry as soon as possible. When it comes to logistics we don’t expect any issues, as we mainly use air cargo for the cherries and have made our agreements with the Turkish airlines already. There’ll be no transportation issues.” he concludes.