Turkey - Country Commercial Guide
Agriculture

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-12-07

Overview

Turkey’s agricultural economy is among the top ten in the world, with half of the country consisting of agricultural land and nearly a quarter of the population employed in agriculture. Turkey is a major producer of wheat, sugar beets, milk, poultry, cotton, tomatoes, and other fruits and vegetables, and is the top producer in the world for apricots and hazelnuts. Turkey’s young and growing population provides opportunities for market growth and new product introductions. Turkey imports oilseeds, including soybean and meal, as well as grain products, as animal feed inputs for its meat and rapidly growing poultry sectors. Turkey also imports inputs for its food processing and bakery sector and additional cotton as an input for its advanced textile industry.

Turkey is an important tourism destination with opportunities for U.S. exporters in the Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional sector. The USDA Foreign Agriculture Service’s (FAS) Food Service – Hotel, Restaurant, Institutional Service report may be reached at the FAS web page. The Turkish retail food sector continued to grow in 2020, with increases seen especially in at-home food consumption due to COVID-19 restrictions. The retail sector is split evenly between traditional small grocery stores and modern retail chains with a new emphasis developing on deep discount stores. FAS’s Retail Foods report may be reached at the FAS web page. Turkey has a well-developed food processing sector that produces for the Turkish market and for exporting regionally. FAS’s Food Processing Ingredients report may be reached at the FAS web page.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Cotton for Turkey’s textile sector and tree nuts are the key export opportunities for U.S. companies. Turkey’s textile industry remains vital to its economy in terms of investment, employment, and exports. In 2021, cotton imports are expected to increase to meet the demand from people working from home for casual and comfortable cotton clothing and home fabric decor. U.S. cotton has a very good reputation in Turkey, which is reflected in the continued high U.S. market share. Turkey is expected to remain a significant importer in the coming years due to the quality of U.S. cotton. A 3% anti-dumping duty on U.S. cotton was removed in April 2021 after 5 years, which should be an advantage for U.S. cotton imports. Total Turkish imports of U.S. cotton were valued at $591 million in 2020. FAS’s Cotton and Products report may be reached at the FAS web page.

Turkey is a large consumer of tree nuts, especially almonds and walnuts from the United States. Nuts and dried fruit are commonly consumed snacks in Turkey, but a large volume of nuts are also used to produce value-added products domestically such as confectionary products and sweets. The U.S. exported $84 million of walnuts and $134 million of almonds to Turkey in 2020. FAS’s Tree Nuts report may be reached at the FAS web page.

There are also opportunities in supplying rice, pulses, and hardwood lumber products as well as consumer oriented and functional food products. Turkey is a major importer of raw materials for animal feed such as soybeans, but its restrictive biosafety laws have limited imports of these products from the United States. In 2021, several approvals for new genetically engineered soybeans were approved by the GoT to be imported for use as animal feed, re-opening the Turkish market for U.S. soy exporters.

Opportunities

For opportunities to enter the Turkish market, exporters are recommended to review reports produced by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Office in Turkey pertaining to relevant sectors or commodities. Turkey’s young and growing population, as well as regional exports of textiles and processed foods provide opportunities for U.S. exporters to provide inputs. All reports can be found on the FAS Global Agricultural Information Network search page.

Resources

For additional information on accessing opportunities in the Turkish food and agriculture sector, the USDA FAS produces helpful reports with market information and details. Start with the Exporter Guide to Turkey, as well as the Turkish Retail Food Sector Report, Food Processing Ingredients Report, and Hotel, Restaurant and Food Service Sector Report. The latest versions of these reports as well as sector-specific reports on commodities, such as grain and feed, oilseeds, livestock and poultry, tree nuts, and cotton can be found on the FAS Global Agricultural Information Network search page.

Turkey can be a complex and dynamic market for food and agricultural products, so it is imperative to understand import requirements and have a reliable and experienced partner in Turkey. Additional information on specific animal health and phytosanitary certificate requirements and pre-registration for certain products can be found in the latest FAS Food and Agriculture Import Regulations and Standards Country Report for Turkey available on the FAS Global Agricultural Information Network search page and by contacting the USDA FAS in Turkey. Turkey’s Foods Foreign Trade Association (TUGIDER) represents the major food importers in Turkey and may be contacted to get information on potential local representatives in Turkey. Food trade shows in Turkey, such as Anfas Food Products, World Food Istanbul, CNR Food Istanbul and Food Ingredients Fi Istanbul, can be useful to meet importers and assess the market before entrance. Some international exhibitions such as ANUGA (Germany) and SIAL (France) as well as Gulfood (UAE) also provide insights into the Turkish market since good-sized Turkish pavilions are present and Turkish buyers often frequent these shows.

Foreign Agricultural Service

U.S. Embassy Ankara

agankara@usda.gov