Russia’s export quota for tomato producers and exporters from Turkey will soon expire. Industry officials are looking for a complete removal of the quotas that are currently hampering the trade.
According to Cüneyt Doğan, a member of the board of directors of Antalya Commodity Exchange (ATB), the quota is being raised by 50,000 tons each time and currently, the Turkish exporters have only 4,458 tons left, which is set to expire in the next 15 days. Although this year's quota was fulfilled in the middle of the winter and summer production seasons -which meant it had less effect on the exports- the effects will be more visible with the beginning of the new season.
Russia –a big market for Turkish exporters– has been applying the quota on tomatoes produced in Turkey since 2017, mainly for goods from the southern city of Antalya and the Mediterranean region in general. This measure harms both the producers and exporters as they have reiterated many times their demand to lift the quota, which currently stands at 250,000 tons.
Doğan said the opening of a new quota, 50,000 tons each time, is not a solution since it is filled quickly and the export of tomatoes will then halt until the opening of a new quota. Most recently in January, the quota for fresh or chilled tomatoes was raised to 250,000 tons from 200,000 tons.
Turkey’s tomatoes exports increased by 3% in 2020 to $313.4 million, while most of the foreign sales were made to Russia, according to the data of the Turkey Exporters Assembly (TIM). Though there was a 28% year-on-year decrease in exports to that country, the total value of the sales was recorded as $62.2 million, down from $82.2 million in 2019.