The Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs (MinFWA) had been conducting “Special Afforestation Projects” for almost 30 years with the target of afforestation and improvement of non-arable. Almonds have been the most popular trees with around 45 percent of total trees planted. Despite the increase in the number of planted almond trees, because they may be planted in less productive places or not looked after carefully, almond production has not increased significantly in these areas.
Moreover, the government of Turkey has prepared the “Almond Action Plan” which MinFWA has implemented in 2013-2017. In the scope of this plan, eight million almond seedlings were planted within five years. However, implementation focused on increasing forested area rather than agricultural production.
The government of Turkey also encourages producers to establish new orchards by allocating free land for 49 years, providing some interest-free financial support and financially supporting farmers registered in the “Farmers Registration System” for using certified seedlings in these orchards. Most of the current almond production has been from unstandardized seedlings which results in inconsistent yields and qualities. As a result of these incentives and government support, the establishment of almond orchards has become popular in Turkey and the private sector has concentrated on establishing new almond orchards for commercial production in Izmir, Manisa, Mugla, Denizli, Urfa, Canakkale and Adiyaman Provinces. It is believed that these initiatives will increase the production of almonds in the future.
Almond production in Turkey based on the USDA report is forecast to increase slightly to 16,000 MT in MY 2018/19 which is higher than last year by 1000 MT.
Post forecasts that there will be a decrease in almond consumption to 30,000 MT in MY 2018/19 as a result of an increase in retail prices due to inflation and currency devaluation. Almonds are mainly consumed as snack food and limited amounts are used in the confectionary and cosmetics industries. The packaging almonds has increased and about a third of tree nuts are sold as packaged. Almond retail prices in Istanbul, Turkey are about 10 – 13USD perkg for both shelled roasted almonds and raw almonds.
As of January 1st, 2018, the Government of Turkey lowered import tariffs on almonds from 43.2 percent to 15 percent. However, on June 25th, 2018 an additional 10 percent tariff was introduced on U.S. almondsas retaliation to the U.S. Government increasing the tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum. On August 15th, 2018, the additional tariff was doubled to 20 percent.The final import tax on almonds and walnuts from the United States is 35 percent on the cost. There is still a demand for high quality almonds in the Turkish market and domestic production will not be able to meet this demand in MY 2018/19.
Table 1. Almond (Turkey) production, trade 2017/218-2018-19
Shelled Almond 2017/18 2018/19
Production MT 15000 16000
Import MT 26000 22000
Export MT 8000 8000