The highest increase in Turkey's raisin exports was seen in exports to Far Eastern countries such as China, Japan and South Korea.
According to the Aegean Exporters' Association data, Turkey obtained $318.35 million in revenue in return for selling 201,408 tons of raisins from September 2017 to May 2018, a period in which the country exported high amounts of raisins. Having come to make their products high added value ones in recent years, Turkish raisin exporters sold 193,046 tons of raisins in the same period of this season, bringing $383.15 million into the Turkish economy.
While raisin exports dropped by 4 percent on amount basis, they rose by 20 percent in value compared to the previous season.
The U.K. ranked first in Turkey's raisin exports with $102 million, followed by Germany with $46 million and the Netherlands with $39.2 million.
Meanwhile, the most pleasing development in raisin exports was seen in exports to the Far East.
A total of $4 million worth of raisins were exported to China, the most populous country in the world, with a 120 percent rise on a value basis. Moreover, raisin exports to Japan amounted to $11 million with an 87 percent hike.
Turkey exported $1.27 million worth of raisins to Thailand and its raisin exports to South Korea totaled $1.1 million with a 231 percent and 46 percent upsurge, respectively.
Indicating that they have accelerated promotional activities in the region, Celep stated, "The Far East constitutes a significant potential for Turkish dried fruit exports. In this sense, our exports to the Far East are increasing day by day. We have declared 2019 the year of exports to China. We seriously view China and want to increase our share in this market given that it has become a consumption market now. This is a chance for us. We need to move forward to the target with the right steps without being demotivated."
Celep pointed out that Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli's messages about raisins have given producers confidence regarding prices.
Emphasizing that they will not allow Turkish raisins to be sold for less than $1,400 per ton overseas, Celep said, "Today, we have moved the price of Turkish raisins to around $2,000 and export 250,000-300,000 tons of products. We have to be a rule maker regarding our own products. Currently, we are the world's largest producer and exporter of raisins."
Remarking that this price gap shows that there is considerable distance they need to cover, Celep said that they strive to boost export figures in every sense.