President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the foreign trade figures for 2021. Exports in 2021 increased by 32.9 percent compared to the previous year and reached 225.4 billion dollars. Erdoğan stated that exports contributed significantly to the growth and stated that they revised their 2022 export target to 250 billion dollars.
In 2021, Turkey exported to 229 countries and regions and succeeded in increasing exports to 184 countries.
Agriculture is one of the most successful sectors in Turkey. Turkey’s fertile lands, hardworking producers, government incentives, and new technology have contributed greatly to this success. The success of the agricultural sector is increasing exponentially every year. Quality products and successful production contribute to the popularity of agricultural products abroad. The demand for the products is high both at home and abroad.
Address of Success in Agriculture
Turkey, which ended 2020 with records broken in exports despite the pandemic, wrote a success story in 2021. The country’s success will set an example for the world. Food and agriculture had a large share in this success. The sector always has an important place in international trade. Exporting to more than 180 countries, the Turkish agriculture and food industry continue to lead.
Turkey’s agricultural ecosystems are among the best in the world, producing high-quality foods, raw materials, and organic products. It is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts, fresh and dried figs, apricots, grapes, and bulgur. Hazelnut, the secret ingredient of chocolate confectionery, is exported to 150 countries from Turkey. Besides, it accounts for 70% of the world’s hazelnuts.
Export data for 2021 were announced at the meeting held with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister of Trade Mehmet Muş, and Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) President İsmail Gülle.
Exports in 2021 increased by 32.9 percent compared to the previous year and reached 225.4 billion dollars. The foreign trade deficit decreased by 7.8 percent annually in 2021 to $45.9 billion.
Erdogan’s New Goal
Erdoğan stated that exports have a significant contribution to growth. He noted that the economy has reached pre-epidemic levels with its dynamic structure. “The economic data of the last 2 years clearly proves the success of Turkey. Turkey became one of the two countries that ended 2020 with growth. The driving force in the growth was export. We are increasing the number of countries we trade with using TL every day,” said the President.
Erdogan added, “We are revising our 2022 target as 250 billion dollars. We have set our 2022 economic growth target as 5 percent to quickly reach the position of a country with a current account surplus.”
According to official data, in 2021, Turkey’s exports of agricultural products increased by more than 20%, with exports worth $29 billion. According to figures provided by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), agricultural exports increased by 22.2 percent to nearly $29.74 billion.
Big Breakthrough of the Agriculture Sector
Last year, the agricultural industry accounted for 13.2 percent of Turkey’s total exports. It increased by more than a third to nearly $225.4 billion, an all-time record. The demand for products grown in Turkey has increased.
The prominent products in exports in 2021 were hazelnut (1.3 billion dollars), flour (1.1 billion dollars), and pasta (800 million dollars), respectively. These products constituted approximately 13.9% of the total exports.
Cereals, pulses, and oilseeds accounted for $9.15 billion in exports, followed by furniture, paper, and forestry products with nearly $7 billion. Water and animal products followed with $3.4 billion, fresh fruits and vegetables with over $3 billion, and finally, hazelnut products with $2.26 billion. Ornamental plants and products had the biggest annual rise in exports in 2021, with nearly 39 percent. Water and animal products came in second with 38.8%.
9 out of 10 Sectors Are on the Rise
While 9 out of 10 sectors within the agriculture group increased their exports, exports of 1 sector decreased. Among the agricultural sectors, the ornamental plants and products sector increased its exports by 39.1 percent last year. It was followed by aquaculture and animal products, furniture, paper, and finally, forestry products. On the other hand, the exports of the tobacco industry decreased by 14 percent in 2021 compared to 2020.
The Highest Demand Came from Germany and Iraq
Countries from all over the world demanded Turkish products. The agricultural products were mostly purchased by Germany and Iraq. Germany became the top market for hazelnut goods ($536.4 million), dried fruits and products ($232.8 million), and lastly, fruits and vegetables ($274.3 million). Iraq was the major importer of cereals, pulses, and oilseeds ($1.63 billion).
The USA was the country that bought the most tobacco products with 105 million dollars’ worth of imports. Moreover, the highest export of ornamental plants and products was made to the Netherlands with 53.9 million. The top country that bought fresh fruits and vegetables from Turkey was Russia. Russia imported $1.14 billion worth of fresh fruit and vegetables in 2021.