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: 2020-10-07

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 imports oilseeds, including soybeans and meals, as well as grain products as inputs for animal feed for its meat and rapidly growing poultry sector. Turkey also imports additional cotton as an input for its advanced textile sector and inputs for its food processing and bakery sector.

Turkey is an important tourism destination with opportunities for U.S. exporters in the HRI (Hotel, Restaurant, Institutional) sector. The Turkish retail food sector continued to grow in 2019, with the organized retail sector split evenly between traditional small grocery stores and modern retail chains, developing a new emphasis on deep discount stores. The young and growing population provides opportunities for growth and new product introductions. Turkey has a well-developed food processing sector that is producing for the Turkish market and exporting regionally.

Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Forestry

 

2017

2018

2019

2020

estimated

Total Local Production

51,781

42,177

43,310

43,500

Total Exports

17,245

18,048

18,342

18,525

Total Imports

15,741

15,340

15,033

15,634

Imports from the U.S.

1,808

1,620

1,136

1,249

Total Market Size

50,277

39,469

40,000

40,600

Exchange Rates (TL/$)

3.65

4.80

5.67

6.90

(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)

Notes: Units are in $ millions of USD; 2020* is an estimation;

2018 local production actually increased from 2017 in Turkish Lira terms, but in USD terms is lower than 2017

Source: Turkish Statistical Institute and Trade Data Monitor:

http://www.tuik.gov.tr/PreIstatistikTablo.do?istab_id=2513

Leading Sub-Sectors

Cotton for the textile sector as well as tree nuts are the key export opportunities for U.S. exports. Turkey’s textile industry remains vital to its economy in terms of investment, employment and exports; however, demand is expected to decrease and the industry to contract in 2020 due to the fall in retail clothing sales as an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. Total Turkish imports of U.S. cotton were valued at $648 million in 2019.

Turkey is a large consumer of tree nuts, especially importing almonds and walnuts from the United States. Nuts and dried fruit are commonly consumed as snacks in Turkey, but a large volume of nuts is also used in confectionary products and sweets to produce value-added products domestically. The U.S. exported $340 million of tree nuts to Turkey in 2019.

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 law has limited imports of these products from the United States in recent years.

Opportunities

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

Web Resources

For additional information on accessing opportunities in the Turkish food and agriculture sector, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Services 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, livestock and poultry, tree nuts and cotton can always be found on the FAS Global Agricultural Information Network search page.

Turkey can be a complex 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 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 Foreign Agricultural Service in Turkey. Turkey’s Foods Foreign Trade Association (TUGIDER) may be contacted to get information on potential local representatives in Turkey as it represents the major food importers in Turkey. Food trade shows in Turkey can be helpful to visit, such as Anfas Food Products, World Food Istanbul, and Food Ingredients Fi Istanbul, to meet importers and assess the market before trying to enter.

Foreign Agricultural Service

U.S. Embassy Ankara

agankara@fas.usda.gov