Turkey's Dried Tomato Export Surge to $97.3M in 2021

Tomato is one of the most important vegetables due to its production and consumption rate in the world. Being the first among the agricultural products subject to trade, its importance is undeniable in human nutrition. It has a wide range of uses in different forms such as frozen, canned, tomato paste, ketchup, pickles and tomato juice in the food industry.

In 2019, China ranked first in world tomato production with a production of 62.8 million tons. India ranked second with a production of 19 million tons. Turkey ranked third with 12.8 million tons. Lastly, the USA ranked fourth with a production of 10.9 million tons. China, which ranked first in tomato production in the world, met 35% of the total world tomato production.

According to Trade Map's 2020 world trade data, tomatoes accounted for 7.7 million tons of exports and 7.2 million tons of imports. Mexico leads the world in exports. Following Mexico are the Netherlands, Spain, Morocco, and Turkey. Turkey's export share is 6.7 percent. Turkey exported 519 thousand tons of tomatoes in 2020. In terms of imports, the United States placed first with a share of 25.5 percent alone in 2020 (1.8 million tons). Germany ranked second with 10.1 percent, and finally, France ranked seventh with 7 percent.

The Aegean Region Provided the Majority of Dried Tomato Exports

According to the Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters' Association, the Aegean Region accounted for 97 percent of Turkey's dried tomato exports. Production in Turkey, which was 12.84 million tons in 2019, increased by 2.8% to 13.2 million tons in 2020. Antalya is in first place with 2.6 million tons of tomato production (19.5%) in 2020. Bursa is the second with 1.3 million tons (10.1%) and lastly, Manisa is the third (8.5%) with 1.1 million tons. Turkey's dried tomato export in 2021 generated $97.3 million revenue, displaying a 17% increase compared to the previous year.

Tomatoes and tomato-derived goods such as sauce, ketchup, and tomato juice stand out as key export products as well as being essential in Turkish cuisine. Consequently, Turkey gained $729M in foreign exchange revenue from tomato and tomato-related product exports in 2021, a 20% increase over the previous year. Fresh tomato shipments accounted for 49.7% of total exports in this category. Fresh tomatoes generated 313 million dollars in foreign exchange in 2020, but this value increased by 16 percent to $363M in 2021. Exports of fresh tomatoes made a quick start to 2022.

Exports increased by 23% in January 2022 compared to the same time frame in the previous year, reaching $43.6M. Tomato and tomato product exports increased by 43% to $83M in 2022, compared to the revenue of $58M in January 2021. Turkey shipped fresh tomatoes to 53 nations last year.

Tomato Cultivation is Increasing in Turkey

Tomato planting areas in Turkey increased by approximately 1% in 2020 compared to the previous year. According to the report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the tomato planting areas reached 1.74 million decares. Additionally, greenhouses make up 15.3% of the total cultivation area. When the tomato cultivation areas in Turkey are examined, Antalya has a 10.7% share in the tomato cultivation areas in Turkey. Antalya ranks first with 186 thousand hectares. Bursa is the second with 176 thousand hectares and finally, Manisa is the third with 148 thousand hectares.

Furthermore, fresh tomatoes, which account for nearly half of tomato and tomato product exports, began the year 2022 with a 23% increase in shipments in Turkey. Turkey produces $14M tons of tomatoes annually. Therefore, Turkey is one of the world's most prominent tomato-producing countries. The dried form of tomato plays an important role in Mediterranean cuisine. It is also an important source of foreign currency for Turkey.

The Biggest Importer is Russia

Russia has the biggest demand for fresh tomatoes, with $68 million worth of imports. Russia was followed by Romania, with 58 million dollars, and Bulgaria, with 41 million dollars. Tomato paste came in second with $208 million in tomato and tomato product exports, trailing only fresh tomatoes. The rise in tomato paste exports was reported to be 32%. Iraq leads the way with a $120M demand for tomato paste. Italy came in second with 18 million dollars. Germany came in third place, with a demand of $11.5 million. Thus, Turkey exported tomato paste to 122 countries in total.

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