ECONOMY

Turkey's cherry exports to China hit $3.3 million

Overcoming hurdles and launching its first cherry exports to China last month, Turkey's cherry sales to the Far East country have totaled $3.3 million and the Western Mediterranean region of the country accounted for $1.9 million of the total cherry exports.

Western Mediterranean Exporters' Association (BAİB) Chairman Hakkı Bahar said in a statement that the exports of Isparta, a province in the region, to China rose by 14.5% and hit $28,872.

"The efforts of our association to remove the hurdles for cherry exports to China have led to a significant hike in Isparta's cherry sales to the Far East country. Last year, the exporters were obliged to keep their products at cold-storage units for days to qualify for sales to China, and this used to negatively impact the product quality, stemming the development of exports," Bahar said.

The Turkish exporters told the government about Australia's practice of fumigation by way of which the exporters from that country sell cherries to China. As a result of the negotiations the government held with Chinese officials, both sides agreed on Turkish exporters' demands for the launch of fumigation of Turkish cherries for exporting to China, whose annual cherry imports total $800 million.After China, South Korea has become the second address for Turkish cherries in the Far East this month. One of the largest fruit producers and exporting companies in Turkey operating under Tekfen Agriculture, Alanar Fruit has achieved another first in the Far East market following the export of cherries to China and set course for South Korea for the first time in Turkish fruit-growing history.

Last year, Turkey sold 76,000 tons of cherries worth $162 million to 59 countries, including Germany and Russia. Sector representatives recently said they aim to reach $200 million this year thanks to the favorable picture for cherry exports. Turkey exported 65,000 tons of cherries between Jan. 1 and July 10, generating $155.7 million in foreign exchange. In the same period last year, Turkey exported 69,000 tons of cherries worth $152.2 million.

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