Turkey's chicken and egg exports rose 12 percent year-on-year to $917 million, from January to November this year.
According to the Aegean Exporters' Associations (EİB), Turkey's chicken exports soared to $523 million from January to November, a 10 percent rise compared to the same period last year.
Iraq was the largest importer of chicken at $299 million, followed by Libya at $55 million and Hong Kong at $40 million. Chicken exports to the Japanese market, which Turkey entered last year, stood at $1.5 million.
Meanwhile, egg exports also went from $336 million to $394 million, up 17 percent compared to the same period of last year.
Iraq was also the biggest importer of eggs with $281 million, followed by Saudi Arabia at $37 million and Iran at $21 million. Turkey's chicken and egg exports in the 11-month period totaled $917 million.
The Aegean Aquaculture and Animal Products Exporters' Association chairman, Bedri Girit told Anadolu Agency (AA) that it is very important to reach such figures in exports. Girit pointed out the importance of contributing to the Turkish economy through the increase in exports. He said that there were many factors behind these favorable figures and added, "As a result of our discussions with the ministries, we have set export-oriented growth as our target. First, we started to increase exports in quantity. We rank among the top 10 countries in the world in poultry meat production."
He said that they have also made a lot of investments in quality. Girit added that these investments have come to fruition, as Turkey now exports chicken and eggs to 52 countries. "These countries have seen the quality of chicken we produce in Turkey and, as a result, we are slowly approaching the desired point in exports. We want to cross the $1 billion threshold next year."
He emphasized the sector's financial troubles could be resolved through exports. Girit said that Iraq, the largest market for Turkish poultry meat industry, will increase customs duty to 50 percent from the current 10 percent in July. "They sometimes resort to such methods. They have a certain rate of self-sufficiency. Turkey is one of the largest egg exporters in the world and a neighbor to Iraq. We can say that there is no problem with the Iraqi market now," he said. He said that Turkey has started exporting chicken to Japan but the volume was not at the desired levels yet. He added that Turkey's access to this market was crucial and the export figures will rise gradually.