Getting off to a good start this season, Turkish cherry exports reached 61,000 tons in volume by the end of June and surpassed last year's export performance. Germany and Russia purchased more than half of the cherries sold abroad.
The data obtained from Uludağ Exporters' Association (UİB) revealed that Turkey's cherry exports that began at the end of April, hit 61,000 tons in volume with a 53 percent increase, compared to the same period last year. The value of cherry exports rose to $137.5 million from $109.3 million, recording a 26 percent increase. Last year, Turkey exported 59,000 tons of cherry in total during the entire season. Turkish producers sold cherries to 51 countries and received the highest demand from Germany as well 2018 FIFA World Cup hosts Russia. The total amount of cherries sent to these two countries was recorded at 38,574 tons.
The amount of cherries exported to Russia rose from 9,000 tons to 18,574 tons with a 106 percent increase and the value of cherry exports to the country reached $25.6 million, compared to $15.3 million last year in the same period.
Cherry exports to Germany recorded a 37 percent increase in volume and hit 20,000 tons, earning $73.3 million at a 33 percent increase. Last year, Turkey sold 14,600 tons of cherries to the country.
Iraq followed Germany and Russia in the list of countries that bought Turkish cherries. The sale of Turkish cherries to Iraq rose to 10,800 tons and reached $3.2 million in value.
Cherry sales to Germany, Russia and Iraq made up 80 percent of total cherry exports by the end of June. The remaining 20 percent went to 48 other countries.
Uludağ Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Exporters Association (UYMSİB) Vice Chairman Senih Yazgan stressed that Turkish cherry exporters have had a good start to the season and enjoyed a profitable June.
Yazgan stated that the amount of cherry exports to Germany, which is one of the strongest markets, have increased.
"The cherry exports to Russia have increased by more than double this year by June. The World Cup tournament has significantly affected this rise, in addition to the normalization of bilateral ties with the country," he added.
Yazgan emphasized that harvest season is ongoing and momentum will continue into July, as well.
Despite climactic depreciation this year, the export level that has been recorded so far is considerably significant, he said and added that the increase in cherry exports demonstrate that the demand for Turkish cherries is rising and the necessity to diversify cherry species in accordance with rising demand is emerging. He highlighted that if diversification is ensured, demand will further accelerate.
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