By Busra Nur Ozcan
BURSA, Turkey (AA) – Turkey's cherry exports increased to some 76,000 tons this year — amounting to $161.7 million, vice chairman of the Uludag Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters' Association (UYMSIB) said.
In an interview to Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, Senih Yazgan said this year broke the 2016 record of 78,700 tons worth $182.7 million.
Yazgan said several seasonal problems made it very difficult to grow cherries this year, including sudden rain and hail.
“If we had the same climatic conditions this year as they were in the past years, these 76,000 tons would have certainly exceeded 80,000 tons,” Yazgan said.
He added: "We had the product ready, but the exporters held it back instead of exporting sub-standard goods, so as to not lose its place in the European market.”
Sales to Russian markets increased to 24,100 tons, a 66.7-percent rise, from $21.8 million last year to $31.5 million this year.
The second-highest exports were made to Germany, with an increase from 23,000 tons to 23,600 tons, and a rise in value from $83.9 million to $84.4 million.
Iraq came in third place with 13,000 tons worth $3.8 million.
Exports to England saw the largest increase by 129.7 percent.
Last year, the cherry export totalled 65,000 tons earning revenues worth $159 million.