Dried Fruit

Turkish dried fruit: "Companies can do nothing to improve the situation"

December 23, 2021 2:00 PM, Der AUDITOR
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SEEHEIM/ANKARA. Today's article was written in cooperation with dried fruit traders and exporters from Turkey. The AUDITOR editorial team asked them about the adversities and hurdles the Turkish dried fruit market had to face this year, but also about their positive experiences and their expectations for the coming year 2022.

Due to higher prices undercut by competitors, 2021 was a bad year for Turkish sultanas, which also resulted in lower exports. Things are hardly looking better for the new crop either; export figures have reached pre-pandemic levels, but it is not possible to lower prices further because cultivation costs have increased. Sales of apricots and figs, however, have increased this year, although prices have been raised here as well.

Turkish market players believe that the price increases are too drastic, especially for dried apricots; meanwhile, the situation is already similar for dried figs. They are of the opinion that apricot prices will fall because they had previously risen too far for no good reason. There have already been significant reductions here in November. In the case of sultanas, the selling price has not changed significantly despite the increase in costs. Traders expect that buyers will have to adjust to higher prices in the long run, especially for figs.

The demand situation has deteriorated for sultanas compared to 2020 and 2019, while buying interest for apricots and figs has increased. Processors in particular will have to readjust their demand here.

Regarding logistical problems such as the high freight costs, the ongoing shortage of containers and truck drivers and port closures, Turkish market players are not very optimistic. In their opinion, no lesson can be learned for 2022 from the measures taken so far, because the processors have not worked out any real solutions. Hopes are high that freight costs will return to a reasonable level as soon as possible, but the corresponding concepts and solutions are lacking. The outlook for the climate change and its impact on dried fruit markets is similarly bleak. The changes are already leading to lower yields, which is why cultivation costs in Turkey have risen massively. "However, companies in this sector can do nothing to improve this situation," says a market player.

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