Pulses

Pulses: crisis teams look for solutions

February 28, 2023 at 4:52 PM , Der AUDITOR
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ANKARA. The massive earthquakes in Turkey are also having an impact on the market for pulses such as lentils, dried beans and chickpeas. Specially established crisis teams are now to ensure that production can return to full capacity as soon as possible.

Work resumes

According to Turkish market players, the severe earthquakes that shook Turkey and Syria in February also caused temporary interruptions in the market for pulses. This is especially true for the region in and around Gaziantep, Turkey's production centre for various pulses; exports were temporarily interrupted here, but work was resumed as quickly as possible. As local traders report, the production level in Gaziantep, Malatya, Şanlıurfa and partly also in Kahramanmaraş has meanwhile reached 50% again. There are even factories that plan to increase their capacity up to 90%, depending on the damage and the return of workers.

At least six months

Organised Industrial Zones (OIZs) in the region have been largely spared from the earthquakes, but factory owners further out report severe damage. In addition, problems with electricity, natural gas and water supply are hampering production, but the biggest cause for concern is the loss of many skilled workers who lost their lives in the earthquakes or rescued themselves and their families to other provinces. Special crisis teams have been set up to find solutions, and they currently estimate that it will take about six months before work can resume at full capacity. The TMO has pledged to supply victims in the earthquake zones with pulses and cereals for at least three months, according to the Turkish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Vahit Kirişci.

Earthquakes exacerbate global crises

Kazım Taycı, Chairman of the Board of the Istanbul Cereals, Pulses, Oil Seeds and Products Exporters' Association (İHBİR), points out that the large cracks that appeared in fields and plantations during the earthquake also pose massive challenges for growers and need to be filled. This makes sowing and caring for agricultural goods much more challenging than it already is. Taycı adds that 2022 was already a challenging year due to the global economic crises, the impact of the pandemic and Russia's war against Ukraine - two countries that play an important role in the agricultural sector. The earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have further exacerbated the critical situation.

Mixed export figures

Turkish pulse exports show a mixed picture year-on-year. While exports of chickpeas and dried beans were still significantly higher in 2021 than in 2022, exports of red lentils were massively increased and almost doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year.

Pulse exports, Turkey

2021

kg

USD

Lentils

230,380

229,946

Chickpeas

169,046

132,487

Dried beans

62,082

69,962

2022

kg

USD

Lentils

454,573

494,934

Chickpeas

70,237

70,800

Dried beans

6,912

8,275

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