Türkiye’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. Türkiye 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. Türkiye’s young and growing population provides opportunities for market growth and new product introductions. Türkiye imports oilseeds, including soybean and meal, as well as grain products, as animal feed inputs for its meat and rapidly growing poultry sectors. Türkiye also imports inputs for its food processing and bakery sector and additional cotton as an input for its advanced textile industry.
Türkiye is an important tourism destination with opportunities for U.S. exporters in the hotel, restaurant, and institutional sector. More information about the challenges and opportunities for U.S. exporters in that sector can be found in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Food Service - Hotel Restaurant Institutional Report. 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 also produces an annual Retails Foods Report on the Turkish sector. Türkiye has a well-developed food processing sector that produces for the Turkish market and for exporting regionally. In-depth information can be found in the FAS Food Processing Ingredients marketing report.
Cotton for Türkiye’s textile sector and tree nuts are the key export opportunities for U.S. companies. Türkiye’s textile industry remains vital to its economy in terms of investment, employment, and exports. Although Turkish cotton production increased in last few years, most cotton used in the booming Turkish textile industry will continue to be imported. U.S. cotton has a very good reputation in Türkiye, which is reflected in the continued high U.S. market share. Türkiye 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 five years, which evens the playing field for U.S. cotton imports. Total Turkish imports of U.S. cotton were valued at $1.12 billion in 2022. For more information, please read FAS’s Cotton and Products Annual Report.
Türkiye is a large consumer of tree nuts, especially almonds and walnuts from the United States. Nuts and dried fruit are commonly consumed snacks in Türkiye, but a large volume of nuts is also used to produce value-added products domestically such as confectionary products and sweets. The U.S. exported $93 million of walnuts and $157 million of almonds to Türkiye in 2022. For more information, please refer to FAS’s Tree Nuts Annual Report.
There are also opportunities in supplying rice, pulses, and hardwood lumber products as well as consumer oriented and functional food products. Türkiye 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 and 2022, 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. For the latest developments and approvals for feed and industrial use, please read the latest update to the FAS Biotechnology Report.
For opportunities to enter the Turkish market, exporters are recommended to review reports produced by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Office in Türkiye pertaining to relevant sectors or commodities. Türkiye’s young and growing population, as well as regional exports of textiles and processed foods provide opportunities for U.S. exporters to provide inputs. A large and developed food processing industry requires a wide range of ingredients. Also growing number of dual-income households drives new demand for processed, frozen, prepared food, and ingredients.
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 Türkiye, 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.
Türkiye 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 Türkiye. 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 Türkiye available on the FAS Global Agricultural Information Network search page and by contacting the USDA FAS in Türkiye. Türkiye’s Foods Foreign Trade Association (TUGIDER) represents the major food importers in Türkiye and may be contacted to get information on potential local representatives in Türkiye. Food trade shows in Türkiye, 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