The agricultural sector is an industry of great importance on the health and development of societies that produce various nutrients and diversify them by processing and meet the needs of individuals for nutrients. The agricultural sector has always maintained its importance. Agriculture is an essential sector all over the world due to the survival of the population of the country, its contribution to national income and employment, the supply of raw materials and capital to other sectors, its direct and indirect impact on exports, and its contribution to biodiversity and ecological balance. Fresh fruits and vegetables constitute an important part of the agricultural sector.
Turkey is one of the countries where you can experience all four seasons. With its vast agricultural areas, Turkey is one of the rare countries in the world where fruits and vegetables can be grown in good conditions and of good quality thanks to the ecological diversity of different regions. Compared with many countries of the world, it is possible to grow fruits and vegetables in almost every region during all four seasons, in Turkey.
When we analyze the global fresh fruit foreign trade figures, according to the data of the International Trade Center (ITC), with 54.8 billion dollars of imports and 66.6 billion dollars of exports fresh fruit products have 121.4 billion dollars of foreign trade volume in total. The most demanded products in the world are grape, apple, orange, lemon, and cherry. The countries that demand fresh fruits the most are the USA, China, Germany, France, Russia, and the Netherlands. The USA is the world's biggest fresh fruit importer.
According to the 2018 data of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the total land size on earth on which fresh fruits are produced is 709 million decares. The amount of fresh fruit produced in this area is over 1 billion tons, and with a production of 115 million tons, banana ranks first in the most produced fresh fruit category in the world. Following banana, watermelon ranks second with 103 million tons, apple ranks in third with 86 million tons, grape ranks in fourth with 79 million tons, and orange ranks in fifth place with 75 million tons.
When we analyze the global fresh fruit production based on regions, we see that Asia is the region that produces citrus fruits the most, with 55.9 percent. Africa is the second biggest region that produces citrus fruits with 36.4 percent. However, the production of citrus fruit in Europe is 0.2 percent.
Apart from citrus production, Asian Region ranks first with a share of 70% in fresh fruit production. According to the 2018 data of Statista, while China ranks first in the world production of fresh fruit, it is followed by India, Brazil, the USA, and Turkey.
According to the data of TurkStat, the fresh fruit production lands in Turkey are of 21.484.829 decares and forms 9.3 percent of total arable lands in Turkey. The fresh fruit production in 2019 was 17 million 728 thousand tons. Considering the production quantity, the grape was at the top; followed by apple, orange, lemon, and apricot.
In general, when the decrease in the export of fresh fruit is analyzed, there is an average of 16 percent decrease in citrus fruits, which has the highest share in exports. Although Turkey ranks in 5th in the world and 2nd in Europe in citrus fruit production, the decrement in the unit export unit price per ton seems one of the major problems of the reason that the manufacturers are not able to ship products to the foreign market.
The Exports of Fresh Fruit in Turkey
In the table above, you can see the exchange value and the total value of Turkey’s fresh fruit exports between 2009-2019. According to the data of the International Trade Center (ITC), Turkey's fresh fruit exports in 2019 decreased by 6.5% compared to the previous year and reached 1 billion 549 million dollars. As for imports, there was no significant change compared to the previous year and it was at the level of 30 million dollars. Considering the import and export figures, Turkey is an exporter country in the fresh fruit sector. Turkey ranks in 11th place in the world's fresh fruit export. While shipping 15% of its fresh fruit production to foreign markets, Turkey supplies the domestic demand with the rest.
The Fresh Fruits That Turkey Exports The Most
Considering the export of fresh fruit in Turkey, citrus fruits are the product group that is exported the most. While mandarin forms 22% of the total fresh fruit exports and ranks in the first place, lemon ranks second with 15 percent, cherry-sour cherry ranks in third place with 12 percent.
The Exports of Fresh Fruit in Turkey Based on Regions
Based on regions, Europe constitutes 78 percent of the total fresh fruit exports. Asia Region constitutes 21 percent of total fresh fruit exports. We see that almost all of Turkey's fresh fruit exports are to Europe and Asia. As for America and Africa; while the fresh fruit exports to America decreased in 2019 compared to the previous year, the fresh fruit exports to Africa in 2019 show an increase by 50 percent compared to the previous year.
The Top Countries To Which Turkey Exports Fresh Fruit The Most
As such in the fresh vegetable export, Turkey’s biggest market in fresh fruit export is Russia with 613 million dollars. Russia is followed by Germany with 146 million dollars, Iraq with 128 million dollars and Ukraine with 113 million dollars. When analyzed the data of the last five years, the countries to which Turkey has the highest export volume and have increased its exports towards those countries are India, Turkmenistan, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. When analyzed the countries that Turkey exports the most, Eastern European countries constitute over 60 percent of the total fresh fruit exports of Turkey. Eastern Europe is the region with the highest export potential due to the reasons such as the inadequate production because of the region's climatic conditions and that Turkey is close to the region geographically. According to the analysis of market diversification; although Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Serbia, the USA, Saudi Arabia, and France aren't the countries that Turkey is powerful in terms of exports, they are the countries which demand fresh fruit the most, in the global market. They are considered as a target market for Turkey’s fresh fruit exports. According to the data of export potential, Turkey ranks in 7th place in global fresh fruit export potential, with the potential of 2.5 billion dollars to the Middle East and with 670 million dollars to North Africa.
Source: Problems of Economic Development and Agriculture Sector in Turkey: A Historical View - Journal of Nigde University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences - https://dergipark.org.tr/en/download/article-file/185141
International Trade Center (ITC)
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)