Turkey is the fourth-largest poultry exporting nation in the world.
According to a report by the state-run Anadolu press agency, Poultry Products Promotion Group head Müjdat Sezer revealed the extent of the decline. “Our exports were around $1bn last year, but we may barely end this year at around $700m in exports in optimistic expectations.”
Recent terror attacks have caused a 10% decrease in Turkey’s poultry exports, especially to Iraq, but the main risk for exports was increasing speculations over bird flu cases in Turkey, where some cases were seen, but immediately quarantined, he added.
Turkey’s poultry exports to Iraq decreased by 80%, slashing Turkey’s total poultry exports by 50% over this year, after a number of bird flu cases were seen, Sezer is reported to have said.
The report also quoted Poultry Meat Producers and Breeders Association (BESD-BİR) secretary general Ahmet Ergün who said that although Turkey resumed its exports to Iraq after the cases of bird flu were terminated, the sector was seeking new export markets in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Far East and Europe.
An additional difficulty for Turkish poultry producers came earlier in the year, when its biggest export market, Iraq, imposed new customs taxes in February. Rates in northern Iraq were initially upped to $290 per tonne of imported chicken, a huge increase on the previous rate of $35 per tonne. Following an outcry, the $35 tax rate was reinstated.
Turkey produces around two million tonnes of poultry annually, according to Abdurrahman Çakar from the Sakarya Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with around 20% of this volume exported.
“We saw dramatic decreases in Turkey’s poultry exports in the last couple of months due to several problems. Most of these problems were fortunately overcome, but now the sector faces difficulties in finding trucks to transport their products to Turkey’s eastern neighbours due to the rise in terror attacks,” Çakar told Anadalou.