The government has moved to scrutinize export of tinned tomato and tomato paste in a bid to prevent a possible price hike in the domestic market amid rising demand from Europe for Turkish agricultural products.
The Trade Ministry added those products to the list of goods whose export require permission from authorities.
However, authorities stressed that this does not mean an outright ban or imposing restrictions.
“News suggesting that tinned tomato and tomato paste export has been banned is not true,” the Trade Ministry issued a statement after speculations that exports of those products have been barred.
Yet, according to experts the latest move is a clear signal to growers and trading companies that exports of those products could be restricted if supplies to the local market drops.
They noted that demand for Turkish agricultural products from Europe have increased which was triggered by the energy crisis there. Some greenhouses are already closing, and European countries are seeking to boost their agricultural products imports, particularly tomato and tomato paste, from Türkiye, they said.
“This led to speculation that the price of tomatoes may go up to 40 or 50 Turkish Liras per kilogram. The government decided to act before this really happens and sent out a message that the priority should be the domestic market,” experts said.
If demand from Europe picks up, supply may not meet local demand, said Ali Çandır, chair of the Commodity Exchange in Antalya, which is one of Türkiye’s major hubs of agricultural production.
“Price hikes in fruit and vegetables are likely on the expectations that supply will be channeled to exports due to demand from Europe”, said Çandır. “However, we can turn the crisis in Europe into an opportunity. We can increase output and export them without causing troubles in the domestic market.”