Last year, $729 million of foreign currency inflow was provided to the country from tomatoes and tomato products, and $1 billion of export is targeted until 2023.
According to the information compiled from the data of Aegean Exporters’ Associations (EIB), Turkey is among the important countries of the world in tomato production with an annual 14 million tons.
Tomatoes and products such as sauce, ketchup, tomato juice obtained from tomatoes stand out as important export products.
In 2021, Turkey earned $729 million in foreign exchange revenue from the exports of tomatoes and products made from tomatoes, with an increase of 20% compared to the previous year. Fresh tomato exports accounted for 49.7% of the total exports in this area. While $313 million of foreign exchange was obtained from fresh tomatoes in 2020, this figure reached $363 million in 2021 with an increase of 16%.
Fresh tomatoes started 2022 fast. In January 2022, exports increased by 23% compared to the same period of the previous year and reached $43.6 million.
Last year, Turkey exported fresh tomatoes to 53 countries. Russia is the country with the highest demand for fresh tomatoes with $68 million. This country was followed by Romania with $58 million and Bulgaria with $41 million.
Tomato paste came after fresh tomatoes in tomato and tomato products exports with $208 million. The increase in tomato paste exports was recorded as 32%. Iraq ranked first with its tomato paste demand of $120 million. The second country was Italy with $18 million. Germany placed third with a demand of $11.5 million. Turkey exported tomato paste to 122 countries.
Turkey’s dried tomato exports reached $97.3 million in 2021 with an increase of 17%. Frozen tomato exports increased by 22% from $32 million to $39 million, while tomato sauces and ketchup showed an export performance of $17 million. Exports of peeled tomatoes yielded $2.8 million, and tomato juice exports yielded $2 million.
RUSSIA QUOTA IS ALMOST FULL
The quota imposed by Russia, the largest export market in fresh tomato exports, prevents exporters from displaying their real performance towards this country.
Aegean Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Exporters’ Association President Hayrettin Ucak told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Turkey’s agricultural potential is huge and that it ranks 4th in the world in tomato production.
Noting that this potential is also reflected in exports, Ucak said, “Tomato products such as tomato and ketchup, dried tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato juice are in great demand. It is industrialized and turned into products with increasing added value. In 2022, we expect an increase in the exports of tomatoes and related products. Our ultimate goal is to reach $1 billion by 2023. Hopefully, we will continue to run in this direction.”
Ucak stated that the quota imposed by Russia negatively affected exports.
Stating that the quota started with 50 thousand tons, but now it has increased to 300 thousand tons, Ucak said, “About 296 thousand tons were exported. Russia ranks first in the export of fresh tomatoes. If the quota is removed, the export is folded. The subject is within the knowledge of our President and authorized ministries. They are also taking the necessary initiatives. I hope it gets resolved.”
Source: Sabah / Translated by Irem Yildiz