By Atakan Citlak
GIRESUN, Turkey (AA) - After Europe, China has become an important hazelnut export market for Turkey in recent years, Edip Sevinc, head of the Black Sea Hazelnut and Products Exporters' Union (KFMIB), said Thursday.
Turkey exported 7,307 tons of hazelnuts to China in 2017, up from just 713 tons in 2007, according to the union.
Turkey also exported over 26,000 tons of hazelnuts worth $216.3 million to China over the last decade.
Turkey's Hazelnut Promotion Group (FTG) has been advertising in the Far East, especially in China, since 2000.
The promotion group's mission is to do advertising and promotion to boost domestic and foreign consumption.
"We're hopeful for the future. Turkey's hazelnut exports to China will rise, the export figures show it," Sevinc said.
He said Turkey needed to expand its market and step up hazelnut production to compete successfully.
"Turkey's hazelnut exports are good but an increased supply, production and yield are just as important as marketing," he added.
The country exported nearly 236,000 tons of hazelnuts and earned $1.88 billion during the 2016-2017 hazelnut export season, covering the period from September 2016 to August 2017.
Turkey is the world's largest exporter of hazelnuts.
* Gokhan Ergocun contributed to this story from Ankara.