The Turkish citrus industry is looking at an improved year for production in 2008, according to a new report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), with volumes of oranges, tangerines and lemons all set to increase.
The report said that following an 8 per cent drop to 1.4m tonnes in 2007, the orange crop is expected to bounce back to 2006 levels this year following favourable weather conditions.
Similarly, tangerine production, which fell 4 per cent to 744,000 tonnes last year as a result of cold weather during the blooming season, is forecast to jump 20 per cent in 2008.
Lemon production is forecast to rise from 652,000 tonnes to 685,000 tonnes this season, although grapefruit will continue its downward trend with volumes expected to drop following frosts, the USDA said.
The increase in overall citrus production augurs well for the export season, with a weakening Turkish lira against the euro and the US dollar giving a competitive price advantage to Turkish exporters. Russia is once again expected to be the leading importer of Turkish citrus, with Romania, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia all expected to import significant volumes.
Orange exports are forecast to increase 15 per cent in 2008, the report said, up to 190,000 tonnes, with Tangerine exports expected to increase 45 per cent on 2007's 252,000 tonnes.
Lemon exports are expected to bounce back from a 23 per cent drop in 2007 to hit 300,000 tonnes this year.
However, grapefruit exports will continue to fall in 2008, the USDA said, falling 20 per cent from last season 126,000 tonnes.