Bird flu speculations, terror attacks hit Turkey’s poultry exports
ANKARA - Anadolu AgencyTurkey’s poultry exports have decreased by 50 percent so far in 2015 due to speculations about potential bird flu cases, while escalating terror attacks have also triggered losses, according to sector representatives.
“Our exports were around $1 billion last year, but we may barely end this year at around $700 million in exports in optimistic expectations,” said Poultry Products Promotion Group head Müjdat Sezer.
Recent terror attacks have caused a 10-percent decrease in Turkey’s poultry exports, especially to Iraq, but the main risk for exports was increasing speculations over bird flu cases in Turkey, where some cases were seen but immediately quarantined, he added.
Turkey’s poultry exports to Iraq decreased by 80 percent, slashing Turkey’s total poultry exports by 50 percent over this year, after a number of bird flu cases were seen, according to Sezer.
Poultry Meat Producers and Breeders Association (BESD-BİR) Secretary General Ahmet Ergün also noted Turkey resumed its exports to Iraq after the cases of bird flu were terminated.
Ergün said the sector has been seeking new export markets in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Far East and Europe.
Meanwhile, the Turkish poultry sector, which has the fourth largest share in the world’s poultry market, faced a risk of losing its biggest market, Iraq, due to additional customs taxes in February. With the new taxes, which began to be enforced in northern Iraq, Turkish exporters needed to pay $290 per ton of exported chicken meat, rather than $35. The taxes have since been dropped to normal levels.
Turkey’s poultry production volume is around 2 million tons annually, according to Abdurrahman Çakar from the Sakarya Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who added Turkey exports some 20 percent of its production.
“We saw dramatic decreases in Turkey’s poultry exports in the last couple of months due to several problems. Most of these problems were fortunately overcome, but now the sector faces difficulties in finding trucks to transport their products to Turkey’s eastern neighbors due to the rise in terror attacks,” added Çakar.