By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's cow milk production saw an annual hike of 16.5 percent in July, the country's statistical authority said on Thursday.
TurkStat data showed that the amount of collected cow milk reached 863,009 tons in July, up from 740,977-ton production in the same month last year.
"Drinking milk production by integrated dairies became 105,600 tons in July and increased by 2.9 percent when compared to the same month of the previous year," the institute said.
On a yearly basis, the amount of cheese made from cow milk climbed by 19.3 percent and reached 64,072 tons.
TurkStat also noted that cheese production from sheep, goat, buffalo and mixed milk — 3,952 tons — went up 16.2 percent over the same period.
"Yoghurt production became 118,517 tons in July and increased by 6.3 percent when compared to same month of the previous year," it said.
The production ayran — a very popular beverage made of yoghurt and water — rose by 0.5 percent to 70,442 tons.
This January to July, Turkey's export of dairy products/birds eggs/natural honey amounted to nearly $420 million while the country imports totalled some $93 million.
The country's official statistical authority will release next figures about milk and milk products on Oct. 12.