Turkey Mandarins: Greater Production, Less Profits

Josh McGillCrop Forecast, International, Mandarins

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS) recently forecast Turkey’s 2021–22 fresh production of tangerines and mandarins at 1.81 million metric tons (MMT). That is 200,000 metric tons (MT) or 14% higher than the prior year.

Satsuma is the most common variety of mandarin that Turkey exports.

Turkey’s tangerines and other citrus are mainly grown in the country’s Mediterranean region. Increased mandarin production in the Mediterranean region is expected to offset yield losses upwards of 20% in the Aegean region. The Aegean losses were largely the result of low temperatures in the spring of 2021.

Turkey’s tangerine growers are struggling with rising costs for fuel, electricity, fertilizer, crop protectants and other inputs. Growers say tangerines are the most expensive citrus to produce. Tangerine production costs reportedly rose 140% in early 2022 compared to the prior year.

Farm gate prices have not kept pace with the rising input costs, causing some farmers to leave unharvested fruit on the trees or throw it away. Even producers who are growing the W. Murcott, a popular export variety, reported that higher input costs have eroded profits. Additionally, some growers lament that rising production volumes have limited their ability to raise prices.  

Domestic consumption of mandarins for 2021–22 is forecast at 844,000 MT, up from 739,000 MT the prior year.

Turkey’s tangerine export forecast for 2021–22 is 1 MMT, about 100,000 MT or 11% higher than the prior year. Russia is the leading destination, accounting for about half of Turkish exports. Ukraine and Iraq are other large export markets.

Satsuma is the most popular variety of exported mandarin, accounting for approximately half of the total tangerine/mandarin export revenues. Additionally, a seedless variety of tangerine from Izmir province, on the west coast of Turkey, is becoming increasingly popular for export. 

See the full USDA/FAS report on citrus in Turkey.

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

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