According to the data of Aegean Exporters' Associations (EIB), Turkey's dried fruit exports increased in the 2021-22 season which exceeded 1 billion dollars.
Dried fruits are high in energy and rich in potassium, and calcium. They are considered in the healthy products category of the World Health Organization. Turkey is number one in the production and export of dried fruit in the world. The most well-known trio of the dried fruit industry, seedless raisins, dried apricots, and dried figs, break records in Turkey's exports.
According to the data of Aegean Exporters' Associations (EIB), dried fruit exports increased in the 2021-22 season when compared to the 2020-21 season. Exports amounted to 94 million dollars in the previous period. They reached 1 billion 15 million dollars with an increase of 11 percent in the remaining part of the 2021-22 season. As a result of these data, Turkey has achieved the first position in dried fruit exports.
The product that became the export leader of dried fruits in the 2020/22 season was seedless raisins. According to the announced data, 393 million dollars of raisins were exported in the 7 months between September 1, 2020, and July 31, 2021. In the 2021/22 season, 408 million dollars were reached by exporting raisins in the same period. In these two seasons, a total of 435 tons of seedless raisins were exported.
The number of countries to which seedless raisins were exported was recorded as 101. England ranks first in the list of countries where raisins are exported the most, with 102.6 million dollars. Germany follows in second with demand for seedless raisins at $58.2 million. While the Netherlands entered the list in third place with 38 million dollars, 32 million dollars of raisins were exported to Italy.
Dried apricots reached 87 thousand tons in the 2020-21 season. They reached 80 thousand with a decrease of 7 percent in the 2021-22 season. Nevertheless, Turkish dried apricots were exported with an added value of $1290 in the same season. As a result of this situation, the amount of foreign exchange obtained from dried apricot exports increased by 29 percent from 291 million dollars to 375 million dollars.
The export list of Turkish dried apricots includes many countries. The first one of these countries was the USA with an import demand of 57.3 million dollars. France is in second place with 36 million dollars. The UK ranked third with its dried apricot import demand of 21.6 million dollars.
The exports of dried figs this season surpassed the exports of 230 million dollars in the 2020-21 season with 232 million dollars.
France took the top spot in dried fig imports with an amount of 31.4 million dollars. Germany took second place by demanding 30.8 million dollars of Turkish dried figs. The USA, which demanded 30.3 million dollars of dried figs, was in third place.
President of Aegean Dried Fruits and Products Exporters' Association, Mehmet Ali Işık talked about the dried fruit sector. Işık stated that Turkey was the dry fruit warehouse in the world thanks to its suitable climatic features and fertile lands for dry fruit production. Işık also announced that they would develop projects to increase domestic consumption, as well as other projects to increase exports in the future.
The dried apricot season has ended. One month is left for the season to end for seedless raisins, and two months are left for dried figs. Işık stated that they were close to reaching their export target of $1.1B in three products by the end of this process. Thus, a satisfactory and productive season was left behind in terms of dried fruit exports. According to Işık, preparations for the 2022-23 season have begun and targets are being set.
“We do not expect a decrease in the yields of seedless raisins, dried apricots, and dried figs in the 2022/23 season. We aim to increase exports in the range of 10-15 percent and an export amount of 1 billion 250 million dollars in three products,'' Işık shared his target.
The dried fruit sector, in which organic production started 35 years ago in Turkey, continues to develop gradually. Dried figs, dried apricots, and seedless grapes, known as the big trio of the dried fruit industry, have many benefits. The products in the dried fruit sector can be grown with less water. This causes these products to have very little impact on the carbon footprint. According to Işık, projects are being developed to increase the production quality and food safety of the three main products. They are also working to minimize the effects of global warming on the industry.