Turkey was the world's top flour seller over the last five years, making one-third of all flour exports, and its 2017 exports reached 3.6 million tons worth $1.1 billion, an industry group said yesterday.
"Turkey's flour exports have been growing rapidly over the last 13 to 14 years, and especially the last five years," Eren Günhan Ulusoy, chairman of the Turkish Flour Industrialists' Federation (TUSAF), said.
He explained that Turkey makes around 70 percent of its flour exports to Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Angola, Benin and Somalia.
Over the last decade the country has exported flour to 160 countries, included the U.S., China, Japan and Russia, he added.
He said: "Turkey's 2018 targets are to deepen its market, raise production capacity and export 4 million tons of flour worth $1.25 billion."
The country exported many varieties of flour, including rye, whole wheat, diabetic, pizza, bran, pastry, and pasta, he said.
"Turkey's annual average wheat production is 21 million tons, but its consumption is 19 million. Overproduction is used for exporting flour," he said.
He said Turkey produced 22.5 million tons of wheat in 2015, and 20.5 million tons in 2016.
Turkey needs to import wheat to maintain its top seller position, he said.
Turkey's exports in 2017 were the second highest in the Republic's history, worth $157.1 billion.
Kazakhstan and Germany followed Turkey in global flour exports, according to data from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Observatory of Economic Complexity.