Turkey is set to hit a new export record. From January 1 to July 21, 2020, the country exported cherries to 60 countries worth 212 million USD (182.8 million Euro). The aim was to reach 200 million USD (172.5 million Euro) by the end of the season. Since this goal has already been attained, the aim is now set to 250 million USD (215 million Euro).
In 2019, Turkey exported 182.6 million USD (157.5 million Euro) worth of cherries. According to the Aegean Exporters Association’s figures, up until mid-July, Turkey exported 70.000 tons of cherries in return of 190 million USD (163.9 million Euro). Last year in the same period, the country exported the same volume – 70.000 tons – for a value of 166 million USD (143.2 million Euro). This points out to an increase in the value of Turkish cherries.
While Turkish cherry exports remained the same in terms of volume, they increased by 15% in terms of value, said the Aegean Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Association’s chairman Hayrettin Ucak. Chairman Ucak stated that Turkey already broke last year’s record before the end of the season and they hope to further increase the export figures.
“In 2020, we increased our exports to China and Hong Kong by 50%; from 5.2 million to 8 million USD (4.4 to 6.9 million Euro). We expect to further increase our cherry exports to the Far East in the coming years.” said Ucak.
“Competition in cherries was tough”
Stating that cherry production takes place in a wide geography around the world, chairman Ucak said: “In Russia, one of our top export markets, we compete with Greece, Iran, Italy, Uzbekistan, Serbia, Romania, Moldova and Spain. Due to increased transportation costs, our prices were higher, and the competition was tough. Even though we started a bit slow, now we are about to complete the season with success.”
Germans and Russians preferred Turkish cherries
Germany was the top export market for Turkish cherries. From January 1 to July 13, 2020, Turkey exported 79 million USD (68.1 million Euro) worth of cherries to Germany. Russia was the second largest market for Turkish cherries. Turkey exported 42 million USD (36.2 million Euro) worth of cherries to Russia. Austria was the third with an export value of 13 million USD (11.2 million Euro). These countries were followed by Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, Hong Kong, Switzerland, China, Denmark and the UK.
"We revised our goal as 250 million USD"
Chairman Ucak reminded that their stated goal was 200 million USD in the beginning of the season. Expressing their content with the current export figures, Ucak said: "During the pandemic, Turkish agricultural products received high demands and cherries were no exception. Our cherries are of high quality this season and thus have an advantage in the market. We revised our goal as 250 million USD."