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Positive season for Turkish cherries, despite price issues in Asian markets

It's a very positive season for the Turkish cherries, with quality being stable and the weather not causing any issues, says Alper Kerim, owner of Turkish fruit exporter Demir Fresh Fruits: "The Turkish cherry season is actually going very well, it's never been better before. The quality of our cherries is very good and our agriculture engineer team and purchasing team are doing a great job procuring the best quality cherries. Looking at the last two to three weeks, the weather conditions have been rather positive. There hasn't been any rain in our harvesting regions, which means the harvest has continued without any delay."

With a lot of cherries from other origins being available in the market, it took a while for the Turkish cherries to pick up steam, Kerim explains. But he does expect things to improve in July. "The demand for cherries started at a slow pace during the beginning of the Turkish season, as the cherries from California and Washington has a very strong start. Spanish cherries are currently still available, but we expect them to finish within one to two weeks. The American and Spanish availability did affect our start in a negative manner, however we still have our cherries whilst they are reaching their end, and on top of that the harvest in the regions that provide the best quality cherries has not year started. As such, we expect very good demand in July, which is the best time for the area our packhouse is located in, because during this time the harvest starts around our facility and it will helps us to move produce quickly, which is important for the cherry trade."

According to Kerim, the prices for cherries in the Asian market has dropped to bizarre levels, not covering the costs. With the Turkish exporters all competing with each other, the Asian importers are taking advantage of the situation: "Our export to Asia is not going very well, because of other Turkish suppliers. Unfortunately, Turkish suppliers are fighting amongst themselves to sell their products to Asian markets and these markets are using this situation to their advantage. Prices are currently so low in the Asian market because of Turkish suppliers offering prices at cost, just to be able to sell their products in the Asian market."

What the strategy behind these low prices is for the Turkish competitors is, is unknown to Kerim, but he does feel it hurts the industry in the short term. "Although I'll not share their names, I'm certain several Turkish brands are losing money in the Asian market right now, simply because their selling prices doesn't make sense if you calculate the costs of the process. Either they don't know how to calculate or they might see this as an investment in the future, I have no idea about this. But it's hurting the cherry prices in the short term."

"Overall, we do expect very strong export levels, with the volumes increasing from July until August. If the quality remains as steady as it is currently, we should be able to continue during the first week of August as well. We have faith in the quality of our product, as it hasn't let us down so far," Kerim concludes.

For more information:
Alper Kerim
Demir Fresh Fruits
Tel: +90 532 514 2080
Email: [email protected]