Turkish cherry industry takes advantage of U.S.-China trade war 'in a very significant way'

August 07 , 2019

The ongoing U.S.-China trade war is granting opportunities for countries outside of the conflict. One such country is Turkey, which has seized the chance to leverage a more favorable export protocol for its cherries to the Asian nation and exported its first important volumes, reports the Daily Sabah.

In July, China agreed to end the condition that Turkish cherries must wait 16 days in cold storage before export. It granted the nation favorable fumigation protocol, which Turkish exporters say they much prefer.

According to the publication, this change in protocol removed the biggest obstacle to the category exports to China.

The long waiting time had been a challenge for Turkish exporters as cherries have a short shelf life. As a result of the U.S.-China trade conflict, however, Turkey had a much larger window of opportunity.

"One of the most prominent problems for us was tax obligations," Uludağ Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters' Association (UYMSİB) vice chairman Senih Yazgan was quoted as saying.

"The import tax in China was very high. The U.S. remained lower, but due to reciprocal political approaches, it became an advantage for Turkey when customs duties there rose against the U.S.

"We used it in a very significant way."

Chinese market critical for Turkey

Turkish exporters have had their eyes on the Chinese market for years, comments Yazgan. Describing the market as essential for Turkey, he says cherry exports to China started after the protocol was signed.

"We exported 700 tons of cherries, purified from pests by fumigation, to China. We heard the product was quite appreciated in the Chinese market in terms of the quality," Yazgan was quoted as saying.

He added that the fumigation values are "a little high". The industry therefore wants to find a way to use lower doses in the future to eliminate pests, he said.

"China was very valuable to us. As of this year, we made a fast entry into China. Had our exports started at the beginning of the season, we would have had the chance to ship our products to the Chinese market at a much higher capacity."

He said the industry next year expects to significantly increase its cherry exports to China.

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