By Gokhan Ergocun
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey's main flour exports reached its limits in 2019 and income from exports in this sector can be doubled by selling industrial flour products, such as biscuits and frozen dough, said the director of the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Eurasia.
Last year, the country's flour exports rose to $1.05 billion from $1 billion in the previous year in the value-basis, while exports dropped by around 50,000 tons to 3.3 million tons in the quantity-basis, Eren Gunhan Ulusoy told Anadolu Agency.
The country is the largest flour exporter and the second-largest pasta exporter in the world, said Ulusoy, who is also the head of the Turkish Flour Industrialists' Federation (TFIF).
The price of flour per kilogram in exports reached $322 in 2019, from $304 in the previous year, he said, and added: "There was a value-added increase in the country's flour exports last year."
- Bread consumption to decrease
While there was a decrease in flour exports to Iraq -- from 1.62 million tons to 1.36 million tons year-on-year in 2019 -- Yemen and Venezuela closed the deficit largely, he stressed.
In the last year, flour exports to Syria and Angola also dropped slightly, he noted and underlined: "If there were no losses in exports to Iraq, we would close the 4 million tons level."
Bread's share in overall flour products consumption in European countries was 55% on average, while the ratio is 85% in Turkey, he said.
Ulusoy added: "Bread's share will decrease day by day and other flour product's consumption will increase, flour producers will have to provide different products for the industry."
- Extra $1 billion income
"Hereupon, the industrial production can create new opportunities for the flour products sector of the country, Turkey should focus on industrial production such as biscuits and frozen pizza dough," he said.
He also stressed that the industrial production will also contribute to side sectors including package and logistic.
Turkey's flour and pasta exports will continue invariably, and industrial flour products exports can generate an additional income of $1 billion to the country, he underlined.
Touching on the country's wheat production, he said the production stood at 19 million tons last year due to climate conditions and Turkey imported 8.8 million tons of wheat, of which 80-85% were used for exports.
His 50-year-old flour firm, named Ulusoy Un, products wheat flour with a daily 1,500 tons of wheat-process capacity, which will raise in the coming period.
The company is also active in the licensed warehouse sector for agricultural products.
Ulusoy Un's, which makes exports to over 80 countries such as Africa and far Asia, foreign incomes consist of 75% of the firm's overall incomes.