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Turkish Orange Crop Forecast Up 40%

In Market Year (MY) 2021/22, the orange yield is forecast to increase 40 percent to 1.82 million metric tons (MMT) due to favorable rainy weather conditions in March and April 2021. The input costs for items such as fertilizer, fuel, and pesticides are still considered too high while farm gate prices are too low to compensate for the high production costs. Orange exports in MY 2021/22 are expected to increase 20 percent to 265,000 MT when compared with the previous season in correlation with high yield expectations. Tangerine exports in MY 2021/22 are expected to increase 11 percent to 1 MMT in correlation with higher production expectations. In 2021/22, lemon production is expected to increase 27 percent to 1.4 million MT with good quality fruit due to favorable weather conditions in late spring in 2021. The main problems reported by lemon producers in Turkey are diseases and pests, input costs such as fertilizers and chemicals, labor costs for tree trimming, crop quality, and marketing issues. 

Figure 1. Turkish Citrus Exports by Products, Marketing Years (MY) 2018-2020

Harmonized System (HS) Codes:

Oranges 080510
Tangerines/Mandarins 080520, 080521, 080522, 080529 Lemons 080550
Grapefruits 080540
Orange Juice 200911, 200912, 200919

Abbreviations used in this report:

FAS USDA Foreign Agricultural Service TDM Trade Data Monitoring
MT Metric ton (1,000 kg)
MMT Million Metric Tons

GoT The Government of Turkey
MinAF Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry MY Marketing year
PS&D Production, Supply and Distribution
TL Turkish Lira
TurkSTAT Turkish Statistical Institute
USD U.S. Dollar

Commodities:

Oranges, Fresh

Production:

In MY 2021/22, the orange yield is forecast to increase 40 percent to 1.82 MMT due to favorable rainy weather conditions in March and April 2021. However, in recent months, producers have become concerned about drought conditions affecting the fruit. According to producers, water which is provided by the Irrigation Unions in the region, has already been restricted for orchards due to overall decreasing water levels in local dams because limited rainfall. This issue affects the quality of the fruit but doesn’t greatly affect the yield, according to producers. On the other hand, the yield in the Aegean region is expected to decrease 15 percent due to the freezing weather conditions during the Spring 2021 months.

Figure 2. Turkey Orange Production and Orchards Comparison, MY 2018/19 – 2020/21

In MY 2020/21, Turkey produced 1.3 million MT of oranges, which is 23 percent lower than MY 2019/20 (1.7 million MT), due to excessive hot weather conditions in May 2020 during the blooming period of trees. Losses and tonnage problems were seen in MY 2020/21, especially for the Washington variety, which produced 25 percent less fruit than the previous season. Orange production totaled 31 percent of Turkey’s total citrus production in MY 2020/21.

Turkey produces mostly the Washington variety of oranges, with that variety accounting for 70 percent of total orange production. Eighty-five percent of oranges are produced in the Mediterranean region while 15 percent are produced in Aegean region. 

The Mediterranean fruit fly is still a major concern. Producers are planning to harvest and sell their products much earlier than normal in order to prevent exposure to the harmful flies. In addition, the input costs for items such as fertilizer, fuel, and pesticides are still considered too high while farm gate prices are too low to compensate for the high production costs. Producers are concerned about MY 2021/22 production since it is expected that input prices will continue to increase, especially fuel and fertilizers.

Figure 3. Orange Producers Gate Prices, Comparison TL and $ Basis

As shown in Figure 2, the number of orchards has been decreasing for the last 3 years as producers convert orchard land or determine profits are not great enough to invest fertilizer and pesticides. However, the area is expected to increase for MY 2021/22. The decrease in MY 2020/21 was seen mostly in orchards of the Washington and yapha varieties while orchards for other varieties have been increasing in correlation with export demands. Also, some of producers has converted their orchards from oranges and tangerines to Pitaya fruit due to high demands from touristic places. In MY 2020/21, orange orchards consist of 29 percent of total citrus orchards areas. According to producers, uncertainity concerning gate prices and lack of production technologies are the main negative factors for marketing of oranges.

Consumption:

In MY 2021/22, orange consumption is expected to increase to 1,488 MMT in correlation with high production expectations. In MY 2020/21, orange consumption was realized at 1,018 MT in correlation with lower production. The market price of oranges at supermarkets has been increasing, like many commodities, due to multiple stakeholders in the market chain and increasing food inflation. On the other hand, retail prices decreased in January and February 2021 since the GoT applied export restrictions to address EU regulations regarding limited pesticides residues. Many Turkish citrus exports are routinely rejected from the EU and Russia due to maximum residue levels above the importing allowances. Less exports helped the domestic orange market prices to decrease.

In 2019/20, orange consumption per capita was 12.3 kg. In Turkey, oranges account for 49 percent of total citrus consumption. According to the sector, orange consumption has shrunk 17 percent over the last five years.

Figure 4. Orange Retail Market Price Changes, Monthly, 2019-2020-2021

Trade:

Orange exports in MY 2021/22 are expected to increase 20 percent to 265,000 MT when compared with the previous season in correlation with high yield expectations and assuming normal levels of precipitation over the winter months.

In 2020/21, Turkey exported 220,630 MT of oranges, which was 24 percent lower than the MY 2019/20 total of 291,846 MT, due to very low yields and the export restrictions laid down by MinAF at the beginning of 2021. For more information about the restrictions, please click here. In MY 2019/20, although orange exports in volume were lower than the previous season due to logistic problems because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the export value was higher than the previous season.

Figure 5. Turkey Orange Exports (MT) and Export Value ($) Comparison, MY 2018/19-MY 2020/21

Figure 6. Turkish Orange Exports, Comparison Table for MY 2018/19 – 2020/21

Russia, Iraq, and Ukraine are the main Turkish orange export markets. In January 2021, the exports to Ukraine reduced 79 percent, the exports to Romania reduced 59 percent and exports to Iraq reduced 52 percent due to the MinAF export restrictions.

According to exporters, varieties and fruit quality need to be improved and new markets such as China, Far East Countries, South Korea, and the U.S. need to be opened in order to make profits from exports. Storage conditions also need to be improved in order to avoid price fluctuations in the domestic market and foreign markets as well. Better storage facilities will enable Turkish producers to sell their products at a steady supply throughout the year, including at higher prices during lower harvest months. Recently, the European Union has increased import control inspection frequency for Turkey from 10 percent to 20 percent to address pests and maximum residue levels (MRLs) of pesticides. Turkey’s orange export value has decreased 44 percent compared to five years ago.

Figure 7. Turkish Orange Exports, Country Comparison for MY 2018/19- MY 2020/2021

Imports: Orange imports In MY 2021/22 are expected to stagnate at 43,000 MT, as realized in MY 2020/21. Turkey imported 43,628 MT of oranges in MY 2020/21, and 98 percent of the orange imports came from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Turkey`s orange imports depend on the low production, climate change and dispersion of production with small size orchards. Read the full report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service HERE.

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