Tangerine Crop to Climb in Turkey

Ernie NeffInternational

Tangerine production in Turkey is forecast to increase 9% in 2021-22 to 1.75 million metric tons (MMT), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported recently. Production in 2020-21 was 1.6 MMT.

High yields per tree and increasing orchard areas and bearing trees are also expected due to favorable weather conditions in the Mediterranean region. However, the yield in the Aegean region, especially for the Satsuma variety, is expected to decrease approximately 20% due to low temperature conditions in March and April 2021.

Tangerines are the most produced citrus fruit in Turkey, and 84% of tangerines are produced in the Mediterranean region. Satsuma is the dominant variety. Producers are struggling with farm gate prices that are too low to compensate for the high production costs. The farm gate prices have decreased 50% compared to the previous season due to low demand from foreign markets. According to exporters, there is not adequate demand from foreign markets during excessively high summer temperatures.

Turkish producers have been tending toward planting new mandarin varieties since they believe that exports of new varieties (Nova, Murkott and Fremont) are more profitable. Most tangerines are consumed fresh, and the Satsuma variety is the most preferred domestically.

In 2021-22, Turkey’s domestic consumption of tangerines is estimated to increase to 784,000 metric tons (MT). In the previous year, Turkey’s domestic consumption of mandarins was 739,000 MT. The gap between lower farmer wholesale prices and higher retail market prices remains a concern for farmers. In Turkey, tangerines are about 26% of total citrus consumption.

Tangerine exports in 2021-22 are expected to increase 11% to 1 MMT in correlation with higher production expectations. The export season for tangerines starts in September. Turkish exporters are expecting record tangerine exports this year due to increased high-quality volume and high export demands. In 2020-21, Turkey exported 898,483 MT of tangerines, mostly to Russia, Ukraine and Iraq.

Tangerine exports to Iraq dramatically decreased in 2019-20 and 2020-21 because of disputes between the Iraqi and Turkish industries about marketing preferences. Iraq prefers green tangerines with leaves, not the orange tangerine that Turkey normally exports. However, exports to Iraq in 2021-22 have started well with improving logistic issues and better preference understandings. Russia is still the main export market for Turkey.

See the full FAS report on citrus in Turkey.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service

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