Turkey’s fruit producers are entering Thailand's $210 million apple market, intent on widening their new market opportunities in Asia after beginning exporting cherries to China last year. Exporters who have been in search of new markets and recently opened to East Asia have begun to gradually receive positive feedback, with a permit approved by Thailand being one of the latest examples.
China’s approval of cherry imports from Turkey has paved the way for further fruit exports to the Asian market, sector representatives say.
Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Chairman Hayrettin Uçak said that officials from Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives have overseen the process and gave approval to Turkish producers, noting that notification on issues such as shipping method, garden requirements, monitoring and packaging systems will be sent separately by the ministry and they will inform Turkish exporters in line with the requirements.
Uçak noted that Thailand, which imports $210 million worth of apples per year, bears great potential for exporters while contributing to Turkey’s apple exports, which were worth $90 million in 2019.
Mr Uçak also indicated that exports of other fruits to Thailand such as cherries may follow apple exports. Turkish cherries are currently exported to China and South Korea and further emphasized that apples are preferable for export to Thailand because of the high unit price in Bangkok. Also, the fruit's durability allows it to be exported overseas via marine transportation.
According to dailysabah.com, the East Asian market in general bears great potential for Turkish fruits, he said, adding they have additional projects in East and Southeast Asia, especially trade with China, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.