Turkey’s citrus exports increased by 24% compared with the previous year in 2020, topping $933 million (TL 6.8 billion) in value, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported on Sunday.
According to the information gathered from Mediterranean Exporter Associations (AKIB) data, Turkey exported 1.8 million tons of citrus last year.
Turkey’s most exported products were mandarins, lemons, oranges and grapefruit.
Russia took the lead with $410 million worth of imports from Turkey, followed by Iraq with $106 million, Ukraine with $99 million, Romania with $39 million and Poland with $35 million.
The president of the National Citrus Council (UNK), Kemal Kaçmaz, told AA that citrus is very important in terms of Turkey’s vegetable and fruit exports.
Saying that they have contributed significantly to the Turkish economy despite the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Kaçmaz also added that some very important developments happened in citrus exports last year.
“We exported 1.8 million tons of citrus worth $933 million. Such a contribution to the Turkish economy is gratifying,” he said.
Kaçmaz also said they are actively pursuing new markets and new developments for the industry are on the horizon.
“Our exports increased in parallel to the growing production fields. This situation was welcomed by the shareholders in the sector. We want to increase recognition of our quality products around the world by expanding our market network thanks to advantages to be gained by the upcoming International Citrus Congress, the 14th of which is to be organized in 2021,” he concluded.
“Our efforts continue without pause.”
Turkey’s citrus exports constitute a very important staple of the economy. Especially, the exports to Russia, the leading importer, significantly increased last year.
Citrus exports from Turkey to Russia increased 47% from January to May, compared with the same period last year, reaching $118 million, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
A total of 197,000 tons of citrus products, including orange, lemon, grapefruit and mandarin, were exported to Russia, the largest importer of Turkish citrus, the data showed.
Mandarins had the largest share of citrus exports with 83,000 tons, followed by oranges (41,000 tons), and lemons (30,000 tons).
Turkish agricultural exports to Russia have recorded an overall increase in 2020 as it has become an alternative to China, which had to suspend food exports due to the coronavirus pandemic.