While fruit and vegetable producers were waiting for good news from Russia, the long-awaited news came from another country. Saudi Arabia will purchase 120,000 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables from Turkey in order to meet demand during the hajj season.
Tomatoes and lemons lead the way as the biggest items. Accordingly, Turkey will export 40 tons of tomatoes and 40 tons of lemons to the Saudi Arabian port city Jeddah.
The reason why Saudis chose Turkey is believed to be the diversity of goods and competitive prices. In May, a purchase crew from Saudi Arabia made some on-site examinations in different parts of Turkey, and sought out possible collaborations. As a result of their collaborations with Turkish companies, fruit and vegetable production increased by 30 percent compared to the previous year.
While air freight is the preferred transportation method for exported goods, Turkish Airlines (THY) stressed that flights to Saudi Arabia have a daily capacity of 70 tons. While Turkey's fruit and vegetable exports to Saudi Arabia was $41 million in 2014 and the following first half of 2015, it went up to $68 million during the first six months of 2016.