Turkey's strawberry exports to Russia reached $14 million in the January-May period, from $3.5 million last year, as a result of rising demand related to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Producers in Aydın's Sultanhisar district, which account for about 50 percent of Turkey's strawberry exports, are trying to meet the demand from Russia due to the FIFA World Cup 2018 event. Annually, 65,000 tons of strawberries are produced through greenhouse cultivation method on 11,000-decares in the district. Russia's rising demand for strawberries due to the huge event has delighted producers.
Although it would normally be the last days of the strawberry season, producers are striving to grow strawberries for Russia-bound trucks. According to Aegean Exporters' Association data, Turkey's strawberry exports reached $21,650,000 in the first five months of the year.
While strawberry exports to Russia were $3.5 million in 2017, they soared to $14 million in the first five months of 2018, a four-time increase. In terms of exporting the greatest amount of strawberries, Russia was followed by Romania, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Sultanhisar Chamber of Agriculture Chairman Bilal Tahran told Anadolu Agency (AA) that organic agriculture is carried out in the entire province and products are preferred in the export market thanks to their quality.
Since Russia is the most important export market for strawberries, Tahran said: "The reopening of the Russian market has greatly mobilized the market, balancing prices. We meet about 50 percent of Turkey's strawberry exports. We are experiencing a lucky period this year. Strawberry producers are very happy because of the increase in demand accompanied by the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The export season, which normally lasts until June 15, is likely to last until the first week of July." Murat Emir, a strawberry exporter, expressed his happiness for the dynamism, saying: "Due to the influence of the event in Russia, there is an intense strawberry demand now. Since our products have declined, we are not able to carry out exports as we did in April and May, but we are still trying to catch up with all the requests. Normally we concentrate on the food industry in this period, but as demand from Russia has increased, we could not help but turn toward there."
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