The Turkish apple season is in full swing and although demand is slightly lower than it was last year, India has proven a good client. They’ve been importing the Turkish Red Delicious apples since December. Prices are stable, despite the problems in the logistics causing a real headache for the Turkish exporters.
India is the most important client when it comes to its apples for Turkish exporter Demir Fresh Fruit. According to Alper Kerim, owner of the company, the Red Delicious variety will be exported to India up until March: “The apple season in Turkey is going in full swing. Especially our shipments to India are going well. India has started to import our Red Delicious apples in December, and will continue to do so until March. Red Delicious is our main variety, about 80 per cent of our stock consists of this variety, with Granny Smith and Fuji filling the rest.”
One of the new potential market for Turkish apples would be Thailand. A first shipment by a different exporter did not go very well, but Kerim feels his company can do better to meet the requirements for this specific market: “Demand for apples is slightly lower compared to last year, but it is still satisfactory at the moment. As always, the bulk of the demand comes from the Indian market, which imports most of our available volumes. Gulf countries and other Asian countries also take large volumes from us. Thailand has started to import apples from Turkey as well, but the first shipments were not great, as the supplied did not have the experience needed for such trades. We’re working on getting our apples to Thailand, which will be a good option for Turkish apple exporters, as long as they meet the requirements of this market.”
Ever since the pandemic started, logistics have been a global problem. Kerim states they still have a hard time finding direct lines to their destinations, and it has caused them losses: “Logistics have been a big headache ever since this pandemic started. We still can’t find enough spaces on lines and it’s very hard to find direct lines. Freight prices are too high, especially when you compare these prices to what they were a year ago. We’ve had to cancel our shipments quite a few times because of the lack of available shipping line services. Overall it’s been a real struggle, dealing with the current logistic situation.”
Kerim states that the prices for apples have not changed over the past three months: “Prices for apples have been very stable, they’re the same as they were about three months ago. The USD currency did drop in value in Turkey over the last month, however we are not able to increase our export prices, as the produce would become unaffordable for our destinations. All of this means our profit margins are lower than they were previous seasons.”
“With the pandemic in mind, most of the food business companies had difficulties for a full year. Fresh business faced similar issues, but we’re going to need to stay positive for the future. Vaccination has started in most of the countries, and it is my hope the world will return to normal in about four or five months. At that time we’ll be ready to resume business with our full capacity.” Kerim concludes.