Massive $9.2 Billion Cereals and Pulses Export from Turkey

Mahsum Altunkaya is the Chairman of the Turkish Exporters Assembly Cereals, Pulses, Oil Seeds and Products Sector Board. He stated that the sector's exports reached 9 billion 156 million 524 thousand dollars in 2021 with an increase of 25.57 percent.

In his written statement, Altunkaya stated that exporters left behind a difficult year due to the Covid-19 outbreak and related global problems. He stated that they had set out with an export target of 9 billion dollars at the beginning of 2021. Altunkaya said, "Last year, 9 billion 156 million 524 thousand dollars of grain and pulses exports were realized. Our target for 2022 was determined as 11 billion dollars.”

He stated that the rules were rewritten in exports, as in all business lines, with the epidemic. Altunkaya continued his speech.

"Of course, it is very difficult to fight a global epidemic and to reach the final consumer by exporting in a world where health problems are experienced. We have overcome these difficulties and made a great contribution to the world by presenting our healthy products produced in the fertile lands of Anatolia. In 2022, while increasing our share in the existing markets, we have increased our share in new target countries.”

Exports Will Continue Regardless of the Conditions

Altunkaya added. “We want to be strong in world markets with our high value-added products and continue to export uninterruptedly, regardless of the conditions, with sustainable exports. We are in constant contact with the relevant ministries of our state for the solution to the problems experienced in exports. All continents of the world, including the Middle East countries, are important markets for us. We hope that 2022 will be the year of investment, production, employment and exports."

In the country-based exports of the sector, Iraq took first place with 1 billion 635 million 509 thousand dollars. Syria was the second with 558 million 571 thousand dollars and the USA was the third with 551 million 831 thousand dollars.

Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Mardin, Malatya, Kahramanmaraş, Kilis and Adıyaman were affiliated with GAIB (Southeastern Anatolia Exporters' Associations). They accounted for 2 billion 944 million 357 thousand dollars in the export of grains and pulses within the scope of exporters' unions. In this ranking, after GAIB, Istanbul came with 2 billion 361 million 413 thousand dollars. Finally, Mediterranean exporters' unions took place with 1 billion 578 million 32 thousand dollars.

Pulses and Cereals Production and Export Overview

Pulses and cereals include dry peas, chickpeas, dried beans, lentils, and cowpeas. Lentils and chickpeas are the most common ones in Turkey. In Turkish cuisine, pulses, particularly lentils, are frequently utilized.

Chickpea is Turkey's most popular pulse, accounting for 44 percent of overall pulse output. Chickpeas may grow practically anywhere in Anatolia. Konya, Karaman, Çorum, and Yozgat in Central Anatolia are important for chickpea production. Mersin, Antalya, Kütahya, and Uşak in South and West Anatolia are also key places for chickpea farming.

Lentils account for around 33 percent of Turkish pulse output. In 2014, total lentil output was at 345,000 metric tons, with red lentils accounting for 95 percent of total production. Green lentils, on the other hand, accounted for 5 percent. Red lentils are historically grown in the GAP area of South-Eastern Anatolia. Central Anatolia's Çorum, Yozgat, Ankara, Kırşehir, and Konya contribute more than half of Turkey's entire green lentil output.

Pulses and cereals are mostly exported from Turkey to the Middle East and Africa. Turkey's largest export markets are Iraq, Sudan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, in that order. Exports to these four nations account for more than half of total pulses exports. Turkish exporters are also a source of international humanitarian relief, which comprises primarily wheat flour but also contains legumes on occasion.

Cereal and Pulses Today

With the continuous government incentives, Turkish pulses and cereals production has been climbing. Along with growing production, exports are also on the rise.

The Turkish cereals and pulses industry generated a revenue of 9 billion 156 million 452 dollars. Turkey exported 10 million 736 thousand 930 tons of products to 214 countries and free zones last year. The exports of the Turkish cereals and pulses sector increased by 14.6 percent in terms of amount. It also increased by 25.57 percent compared to the previous year.

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