With the Turkish cherry season drawing to a close, the country has successfully shipped its first cherries to South Korea. Exporter Ana Fruit reported the successful arrival of its first commercial batch of cherries to South Korea on the shelves of Lotte Mart and other major retailers.
Speaking to Fruitnet, Ana Fruit’s marketing and sales manager, Yahya Erdogan, said, “We processed our first commercial shipment on 25 July after a sample shipment on 18 July. The fruit is now selling on retail shelves in Korea and the arrival of Turkish cherries has attracted coverage from local media. The key challenge we faced supplying Korea this year was delays with bringing Korean inspectors over to Turkey due to Covid-19. We’ve only been able to start shipping in the last weeks of the season due to uncertainty over when the inspectors could get here. We airfreight our cherries directly to Seoul but we also faced some capacity constraints following the decrease in services because of the pandemic.”
Turkish cherries will be competing alongside US cherries. However, with US shipments dropping in 2019, South Korea’s cherry imports fell 22% in 2019/20, totalling 14,873 tons, according to ITC Trademap data. The main variety of Turkish cherry that is exported is the Ziraat 0900, also known as Turkish Napoleon, which meets the global demand for good firmness and texture.
Turkey is the world’s third largest cherry exporter after Chile and the US. In the 2019/20 campaign, the country shipped 80,543 tons worth US$182 million. Currently, most of the country’s cherries are exported to Russia, Europe and Iraq. Asia received around 2,500 tons in 2019/20, with China, Hong Kong and Singapore the major markets.