Turkey seeks to boost tomato exports to $1 billion
With the development of greenhouses in the country, Turkey is now able to produce and export tomatoes throughout the year, said Hayrettin Uçak, president of the Aegean Union of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters.
“In addition to fresh tomato exports, the vegetable is turned into products such as paste, dried tomato, frozen tomato, tomato juice and tomato sauces with higher added value,” he said.
In 2018, Turkey earned $603.6 million from tomato product exports.
Fresh tomato exports top the list with revenues of $292 million, followed by tomato paste with $164 million, dried tomato with $88 million, frozen tomatoes with $39.4 million and tomato sauces with $16.3 million.
The top exports market for Turkish tomatoes last year was Romania, which bought goods worth $43.7 million. It was followed by Russia ($30.6 million) and Ukraine ($25.6 million). Turkey exported fresh tomatoes to a total of 55 countries in 2018.
Iraq was by far Turkey’s top market for tomato paste exports, with total sales of $111 million. Saudi Arabia followed Iraq with total paste exports of $8.6 million, and Germany was third with $8.2 million. Turkish tomato paste was used in kitchens in 103 countries last year.
In dried tomato exports, which were made to 86 countries last year, the United States was the top market with $19.5 million, followed by Italy with $13.3 million and Germany with $9.5 million.