Local pasta firms break production records
GAZİANTEP - Anatolia News Agency
Turkish pasta companies aim at expanding in the European and US markets.Turkish pasta producers broke their production and export records last year, producing 851,000 tons of pasta and exporting 406,000 tons to over 140 countries.
“This is a sector record [...] and this is a record in the history of Turkish pasta production,” said Murat Bozkurt, chairman of the board of Turkey Pasta Industrialists Foundation (TMSD) to the Anatolia news agency. He added that the global economic crisis had not hurt pasta sales because pasta was considered a staple food item.
Pasta sales in the domestic market, however, did not witness an increase, and Bozkurt stressed they were currently devising strategies to increase sales in the Turkish market.
Bozkurt also said Turkey plans to increase pasta sales to Europe and the United States, these being two key markets for pasta producers. Pasta producers are currently working on a plan to lower the import tariffs of Turkish pasta headed for the U.S. market. While total exports of pasta were 406,000 tons, only 2,000 tons of this was exported to the U.S.
“The U.S. is a huge potential market for us, and we want to be in this market,” said Bozkurt.
Meanwhile, pasta exports to Europe are also hampered by import quotas. There is currently a 20,000 ton pasta import quota for Europe, and last year Turkey exported 17,000 tons to Europe.
Bozkurt explained Turkey was second after Italy in pasta production, and despite the fact that Italy has cornered the European market, Turkey’s exports were growing at a faster rate. Bozkurt said that by the end of 2012 pasta producers aim to export 500,000 tons of pasta.