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Turkey Sets an All-Time Export Record with High Trade Volume

Trade Minister Mehmet Muş made a statement about the export figures at a press conference.

Stating that Turkey continued the success it achieved in exports in 2021 in the first six months of 2022, Minister Muş said, “Our exports in June 2022 increased by 18.5 percent compared to the same month of the previous year and reached 23.4 billion dollars. I would like to state with pleasure that this is the highest monthly export figure of all time. Thus, we achieved the highest monthly export value in all of 2022’s first six months. increased by 30 percent to 55 billion dollars.”

‘We are moving towards our goal of 250 billion dollars’

“With our 12-month exports reaching $246.2 billion, we are advancing step by step towards the export target of 250 billion dollars, which we have pointed out for the end of 2022,” the Minister added.

“We broke monthly export records in 20 of the last 22 months”

Mustafa Gültepe, Chairman of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), said, “The continuation of the current upward momentum in our exports is extremely valuable for us. In June, our exports increased by 18 percent, reaching $23.4 billion, the highest monthly export figure to date. In the first 6 months, this figure approached 126 billion dollars with an increase of 20 percent. Our 12-month exports exceeded 246 billion dollars. We broke monthly export records in 20 of the last 22 months. I congratulate all our export family for this outstanding performance. At the point we have reached today, we see that Turkey is ready to talk about export targets beyond 250 billion dollars and to sail to new horizons.”

Inside the Agriculture in Turkey

Turkey’s economy has been developing at a rapid pace for several decades. Numerous sectors of the Turkish economy have seen substantial shifts. Agriculture has developed into a vital sector, providing not only food security but also a considerable portion of the export worth. As such, this discussion will examine the Turkish agricultural industry in terms of production, trade, and the evolution of policy reforms. Turkey is a global leader in agricultural and food product production. According to World Bank data, agriculture’s value-added increased from $27.5 billion in 2000 to $48.9 billion.

Historical Development of Agriculture

Agriculture continues to be the primary occupation of the majority of the Turkish people, although industry and services continue to grow in importance. Turkey is one of the few countries in the world that is self-sufficient in terms of food. Turkey’s fertile soil, temperate climate, and abundant rainfall enable the cultivation of virtually every crop. Farming is done in all of Turkey’s regions but is less prevalent in the mountainous eastern areas, where the primary activity is animal husbandry, which accounts for one-fourth of overall agricultural production’s gross value.

Agriculture in Turkey is also one of the greatest in the world in terms of agricultural lands. Around 35.5 percent of the country is covered by arable land, while 15 percent is covered by forest. As of 2016, agricultural land covered approximately 23.7 million hectares. Irrigation affects approximately 18.4 percent of arable land. Vegetable products make up 76% of overall agricultural production, followed by animal husbandry, forestry, and fishing.

The Journey of Agriculture

Fruits and field crops account for the majority of vegetable goods, with wheat being the most important. Turkey is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts, figs, apricots, and raisins; the fourth-largest producer of fresh vegetables and grapes; the sixth largest producer of tobacco; the eighth largest producer of wheat; and the tenth-largest producer of cotton, according to 2015 statistics. Tea is also a significant crop that is produced and exported.

The country’s fast industrialization following the 1930s, combined with government policies, resulted in agriculture’s share of total income declining. Agriculturists contributed over 50% of GNP in 1950, 25% in 1980, 15.3% in 1990, 11% in 2005, and 8% in 2016. It resulted in a decline in farmers’ economic standards and increased rural-urban migration. However, in the 1990s, the state encouraged farmers to embrace modern techniques through mechanized and supplied irrigation and agriculture infrastructure, contributing to the agricultural sector’s development. The Southeast Anatolia Project is the most significant of these initiatives.

Greenhouse & Organic Farming

In Turkey, total greenhouse area is 772,000 decares, placing it fourth in the globe and second in Europe. In this area, 94% of the land is used to grow vegetables, 5% for fruit, and 1% is used to grow ornamental plants. Turkey is once again a world leader in terms of geothermal resources. It is ranked seventh internationally and first in Europe. The greenhouse sector has an efficient infrastructure, and production is expanding as a result of technological advancements. Additionally, the government provides favorable incentives to the sector.

The country offers incredible prospects for organic farming, owing to the country’s adequate soil and technical infrastructure. The Turkish government provides incentives for organic farming, and organic agriculture legislation is being drafted by EU standards. Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom are the primary export countries, and the most exported productsare wheat, figs, fruits, hazelnut, apricot, lentil, raisin, and chickpea. There are 2.371,612 million tons of items manufactured in recent years.

Major Industrial Crops

Cotton, tobacco, and sugar beets are Turkey’s primary industrial crops. Cotton is critical to the wider economy since it provides the fiber for textiles, Turkey’s largest export category. Cotton is largely farmed on the southern and southwestern Mediterranean and Aegean seas’ coastal plains. Turkey’s economy also relies heavily on perishable fruits and vegetables. The country produces 80 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables and exports 30 species of vegetables and 20 varieties of fruit. Grapes, citrus fruits, melons, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers are just a few examples. Turkey receives nearly $1 billion in these exports each year.

Turkey is also a significant player in the global commerce of edible nuts and dried fruits. Hazelnuts, pistachios, sultanas, dried apricots, and dried figs are also significant exports in this category of agricultural products. Hazelnuts have been farmed along the Black Sea coast since 300 B.C., and Turkey is a major producer, competing in worldwide markets with Spain, Italy, and the United States. Turkish hazelnut production peaked at 580,000 tons in 1998. Another thing that makes Turkey so remarkable is that is the world’s biggest producer of figs, with 36% of the world’s production and 70% to 80% of all global exports.

8 out of 10 Agriculture Sectors Increases Exports

Turkey’s agriculture increased its exports in 8 of its ten sectors last month and achieved 2 billion 574.9 million dollars in foreign sales.

Turkey’s exports surged by 17.3 percent in January, reaching $17.5B, according to figures from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM).

Turkey’s exports of agricultural products also increased by 25.1% in January compared to the same period of the previous year and reached $2.5B.

Agriculture’s Share in Total Exports is 14.6%

The agricultural industry accounted for 14.6 percent of overall Turkish exports. The industrial sector’s exports climbed by 18.4% in January to $13B $122.6M, while the mining sector’s exports increased by 41.3% to $498.2M.

The Cereals, Pulses, and Oilseeds sector is Still the Leader

Looking at the sub-sectors, grains, pulses, oilseeds, and products continued to lead in agricultural product exports last month.

The cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and products sector made foreign sales of 848 million dollars in January.

Cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and their products generated $559.2M, aquaculture and animal products generated $301M, fresh fruits and vegetables generated $286.8M, and hazelnuts and their products generated $182.7M. It was followed by fruit and vegetable products with $173.3M, dried fruits and products with $119.7M, tobacco with $54.2M, olive and olive oil with $37.5M, and ornamental plants and products with $12.4M.

The Most Increase was in the Olives and Olive Oil Sector

With 8 out of 10 sectors within the agriculture group increasing their exports last month, the olive and olive oil sector increased their exports most with 135.5%. Cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and products with 41.5%, aquaculture, and animal products with 38.8%, fruit and vegetable products with 33.6%, furniture, paper, and forest products with 23.4%, and 15.4%, and dried fruit and products, ornamental plants and products with 3.5%, and fresh fruit and vegetable sectors with 3.1%.

Turkey’s Agricultural Exports Skyrockets

According to 2019 data, the global agriculture sector accounts for 3.5 trillion dollars in the global economy. The world agricultural economy, dominated by countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, the USA, and Japan, is a market where different countries are strong in terms of production. The fact that the top exporting countries in agriculture are the USA, Netherlands, Germany, France, and Brazil points to the importance of development and technology use in the agricultural economy. 

Agriculture in Turkey

Agriculture is one of the indispensable sectors in Turkey. With its contribution to employment, exports, and national income, this sector will continue to remain a developing sector in Turkey that will always be open to development. Turkey is a prominent country in the world market, with an output level of $10,000 per person employed in agriculture.

Terrain and Climatic Conditions of Turkey

More than 1000 meters of elevation cover 55.9% of Turkey’s total area. 62.5% of the country’s land is covered by areas having a slope of more than 15%. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class quality soils account for 24.5% of all lands, with agricultural lands accounting for 90% of all lands. Agriculture occupies 26.3 million hectares of Turkey’s total land area of 77.9 million hectares.

In Turkey, there are three distinct climate types; continental climate, black sea climate, and Mediterranean climate. These climates also have subcategories and the continental climates present in Central Anatolia and the southeast exhibit fluctuation. This diversity is very beneficial for Turkey. As a result of these conditions, Turkey is a country that can grow a variety of fruits. This contributes to the development of Turkey in exports.

The Exports of Turkey is on the Rise

According to the data of TIM, Turkey’s exports increased by 21.4% in January-February 2022 compared to the same period of the previous year and reached $37,5B. The agricultural sector, which finished 2021 with record exports, is continuing apace this year. While Turkey’s exports continue to accelerate as a result of bilateral agreements with some countries and an increase in the number of companies in the export family, the agriculture sector continues to contribute significantly to Turkey’s exports.

The agricultural sector’s exports grew by 27.8% in the first two months of this year compared to the same time in 2021 and had the greatest January-February export in the Republic’s history, totaling $5,3B

Agriculture’s Total Share of Turkey’s Exports is 15,5% 

Cereals, pulses, oilseeds and goods, fruit and vegetables, dried fruit and products, aquatic products and animal products, furniture, paper, and forest products all reached a record in January-February exports.

Cereals, pulses, oilseeds and products $1,8B, fresh fruit and vegetables $540,6M, fruit and vegetable products 376 million 442 thousand dollars, dried fruits and products $247,5M, aquaculture and animal products 617 million 263 thousand dollars, furniture, paper, and forest products with $1,1B in this period achieved a record export.

Cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and products increased by 47%, fresh fruit and, vegetable sector by 2.5%, fruit and vegetable products by 36.8%, dried fruits and products by 12.4%, fishery products, and animal products by 45%, and furniture, paper, and forestry products by 26.7% during the same period.

The Highest Demand for Agricultural Exports from Iraq

Iraq had the largest demand for agricultural exports with record-breaking sectors. Cereals, pulses, oilseeds and products, aquaculture and animal products, furniture, paper, and forest products primarily to Iraq, fresh fruit and vegetable products primarily to Russia, fruit and vegetable products primarily to the United States, and dried fruits and products primarily to Germany.

Cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and products worth $360M were sent to Iraq, as were aquaculture and animal products worth $104M, and furniture, paper, and forest products worth $140M. Fresh fruit and vegetable products were exported for $123M to Russia, $61M to the United States, and $34M to Germany.

Istanbul is the Leader in Exports

Companies based in Istanbul earned the greatest foreign sales in industries that set new records for exports. Companies from Istanbul dominated the cereals, pulses, oilseeds and their products, aquaculture, and animal products, furniture, paper, and forest products, fruit and vegetable products, companies from Mersin dominated the fresh fruit and vegetable products sector, and companies from Izmir dominated the dried fruits and products sector.

Istanbul exported cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and their products worth $510M, aquaculture and animal products worth $105M, furniture, paper, and forest products worth $495M, and fruit and vegetable products worth $98M.

Cereal Exports Increased by 52.7% Compared to February 2021

Despite global negatives such as the pandemic, we can observe that grain exports are continually increasing in Turkey. 

Noting that IHBIR reached an export of $255M in February, a 26% rise over the same month the previous year, “Our sector exports of grains, pulses, oilseeds, and products climbed by 52.7% compared to the same month last year,” Okutur said. “Our sector’s exports were $969M in February,” he continued.

Turkey Is the International Market Leader in Agriculture Sector

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, agricultural national income has increased to ₺213.4 billion by 2109 and hazelnut, fig, cherry, and apricot crops of Turkey are highly popular among worldwide markets. Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli stated that the agricultural national income was ₺ 37 billion sixteen years ago and added: “During this period, our fruit production has increased from 13.3 million tons to 22.3 million tons, vegetable production from 25.8 million tons to 30 million tons, field crops production from 58 million tons to 64.4 million tons, and total plant production has increased from 98 million tons to 117 million tons.”

Turkey Is Self Sufficent in Terms of Africulture and a Leader in the Export Market

The annual growth rate in the agriculture sector was 2.8% between 2003 and 2019, and 3.3% in 2019. Turkey surpassed European countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, and France and became the leader with $48.5 billion of gross domestic product. It provides agricultural products to its population of 83 million, 50 million tourists, and more than 4 million refugees. Pakdemirli noted that the increase in production has a positive impact on the export sector. While it was $3.7 billion in 2002, the plant export has reached to $18 billion by 2019. Turkey is the leader in hazelnut, fig, cherry, and apricot production and export in the world with a $2.17 billion export income. It is among the first four countries regarding the production and export of 20 other crop varieties such as apple, melon, olive, tomato, eggplant, and pepper. Turkey provides 1827 different agricultural products to 193 countries. According to the president of the Federation of Fruit and Vegetables Commission Agents of Turkey Halil Öztürk, apple exports are expected to increase in particular. Turkey takes fifth place worldwide with its 2.7 million tons of apple production annually. Öztürk noted that their aim is that Turkey steps up to the first place within a couple of years.