Grapefruit in Turkey: Production Up, Acreage Down

Josh McGill Crop Forecast, Grapefruit, International

Turkey is forecast to produce 249,000 metric tons (MT) of grapefruit in 2021–22, up 5% over the prior year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS) reported. The increased production is due to better yields resulting from favorable weather conditions in the Mediterranean growing region, USDA/FAS stated in its semi-annual report on Turkish citrus.

Grapefruit in Turkey
Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash

Improved yields have allowed production to increase even though orchard acreage has declined. The amount of land planted in grapefruit has dropped from 5,222 hectares in 2019 to 5,039 hectares in the latest report. Bearing trees have dipped from 1.229 million to 1.189 million in the same period.

Like other citrus producers in Turkey, grapefruit growers are struggling with higher input costs, including fertilizer and fuel. With grapefruit requiring more water than other citrus fruit, grapefruit growers are also complaining about higher irrigation costs. Low farm gate prices are insufficient to cover rising input costs.

The grapefruit consumption forecast for 2021–22 is 109,000 MT in response to rising domestic production. Most grapefruit in Turkey are consumed as fresh-squeezed juice. The grapefruit consumption number is expected to include some losses because it is difficult to account for volumes left on the tree or ground. This lost or wasted fruit is primarily due to challenges grapefruit growers are facing in making a profit.

For 2021–22, Turkey’s grapefruit exports are estimated at 140,000 MT. Exports to Russia dropped to zero for both February and March after Russia stopped shipments due to pesticide residue concerns. In addition, as of January 2022, Turkish grapefruit exports to the European Union and the United Kingdom are subject to increased testing for pesticides. The rate of testing by shipment is now 50%.

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

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