Turkey has an important place in fresh fruit exports in the world. 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.
The fresh fruit exports to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have major importance for the Turkish economy. The countries in the MENA region consist of United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Qatar, Kuwait, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Oman, Jordan, and Yemen.
Turkey's Fresh Fruit Exports to the Middle East and North Africa
According to the data of Turkey's fresh fruit exports to the Middle East and North Africa, Iraq was the country that Turkey exported fresh fruits the most in 2019. The total value of the fresh fruit exports from Turkey to Iraq in 2019 was 128 million dollars. This figure forms 55 percent of the total fresh fruit exports to MENA.
In 2019, the second largest fresh fruits exports from Turkey was to Saudi Arabia with 45 million dollars. The fresh fruit exports to Saudi Arabia form 20 percent of the total fresh fruit exports to the MENA region in 2019.
The Fresh Fruits That Have High Potential of Exports from Turkey to the Middle East
The export potential is a prospective economic estimation model analyzed by the previous data of fresh fruit product group between Turkey and the Middle East (The data consists of the components such as the demand of Middle East countries, the customs terms of that product group, and Turkey's supply.)
The data showing the export potential provides us with great guidance. When we analyze the data based on the product group for the MENA region, we see that the first three products that have the highest export potential are citrus fruits. The first citrus fruits product among the products that have the highest export potential from Turkey to the MENA region is lemon. While the average export value of lemon from Turkey to the MENA region between 2014 and 2018 was 80 million dollars, its potential export value was 167 million dollars.
The average export value of mandarin, which ranks in second place, from Turkey to the MENA region was 73 million dollars, and its potential export value was 142 million dollars.
It should not be forgotten that only the production or the demand of the importer country will not be enough for the potential to be realized. Along with the demand and production; governmental incentives, customs procedures, the terms of the customs and the importer country, logistic processes, marketing activities, the new sales channels acquisition of the exporter companies where they can adapt their marketing strategies to digitalization all have significant importance in increasing the exports sales of the products that have high export potential.
The Products That Have High Potential of Exports from Turkey to North Africa
When we analyze the export potential in the North Africa region, we can see that apple product group ranks at the top. While the average export value of apple exported from Turkey to North Africa between 2014 and 2018 was 3 million dollars, the export potential of that product group was 37 million dollars. This gap highlights the importance and the potential of the North Africa region for apple exporters. We can also see that the exports potential value of plums, which ranks in second place, was 4.5 million dollars, however, the average export value between 2014-2018 was 39 thousand dollars. With this figure, the plum product group ranks in second place in the fresh fruits that have the highest export potential to the North Africa region.