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Promising Apricot Harvest Estimates & Export Expectations After Last Year’s Devastating Quakes in Türkiye

The 2023 earthquakes are still impacting the apricot industry. According to data provided by TÜİK, Turkey’s statistical agency, national apricot production reached 750,000 tons in 2023. Businesses are now operating at around half capacity, and it is still difficult to find laborers, especially for the apricot harvest. There are calls for the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) to step in and support local companies by buying dried apricots. On the positive side, this year’s hot weather has caused the fruits to ripen faster, with the added benefit of higher-than-expected sugar content. The apricot quality is said to be very good and fleshy. The first significant export shipments from the new crop can be made in early August. Prices for the 2023 crop seem to stay stable but lower prices can be confirmed from certain suppliers.

Anticipated Increase in Apricot Production

Harvesting has started, and farmers have prepared their yards for drying apricots. Very small volumes of dried apricots are already being sold at a premium. Farmers estimate that prices will range from TRY 90 to 120/kg for the new crop. Fresh apricot prices are around TRY 33/kg (~$1 per kilogram), compared to a lower TRY 30 per kilogram last year. According to the local Union of Agricultural Chambers, this year’s fresh apricot production is expected to increase by 7% to 800,000 metric tons (around 110 tons of dried apricots).

Harvesting Conditions and Market Dynamics

Apricot harvesting will continue until the end of August, spanning 8.5 million trees across 12,500 kilometers. Weather conditions remain favorable, with nighttime temperatures ranging from 15-21°C and daytime temperatures between 31-38°C.

While buyers have started asking for prices for the new crop, they are in no hurry to enter contracts immediately. Most apricot companies are currently closed for maintenance, with a few still operating to complete the last orders for the current season. The market, in other words, is still calm.

Price Trends and Export Data

Despite the calm market, prices have decreased. No. 3 and No. 4 dried apricots are trading in the range of USD $5.25-5.45/kg FOB, depending on the supplier. Subject to confirmation, lower rates are also possible. The prices for industrial 2,000 ppm dried apricots stand @ $2.85/kg, and for diced apricots at $3.65/kg FOB.

According to TÜİK data, Turkey exported a total of 142,210 metric tons of apricots in 2023, including 71,486 metric tons of fresh apricots and 70,535 metric tons of dried apricots. Export values averaged approximately 82 USD cents per kilogram for fresh apricots and about USD 5.7 per kilogram for dried apricots.

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