Almond Update: Significant Market Potential for Almonds in Turkey

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Turkey presents significant market potential for California almonds, as highlighted by Keith Schneller, Senior Trade Policy Specialist with the Almond Board of California (ABC), following a recent exploratory trip to the region. Starting in Istanbul, Schneller represented ABC at the TÜKSİAD Conference in Antalya and visited Mersin to learn about Turkey’s increasing almond consumption and imports.

Market Potential

“I believe there’s some great potential for increases in domestic consumption of almonds in Turkey and for further processing and reexports,” said Schneller. “I think Turkey is definitely an up-and-coming country that will eventually become a member of the European Union, providing even greater opportunities to import more almonds in the future.”

Turkey, known for its rich and diverse cuisine, has a strong cultural history of consuming dried fruits and nuts. However, some changes in consumer preferences are shifting how nuts are consumed, with increasing interest in packaged products. Schneller pointed out that demand for almonds is growing, with market potential for California almonds to fill a need in the country. “They produce around 50 million pounds of almonds each year. In this past year, Turkey imported 125 million pounds. So, they’re far from meeting their domestic needs with their own production,” said Schneller.

As with any market, however, there are some challenges. Economic difficulties are particularly strong in Turkey, with significant inflation and high interest rates. Schneller also noted that there is an issue with market access into Turkey. There is a 10 percent retaliatory tariff in place on imported nuts from the U.S. Despite the challenges, there is optimism that Turkey can grow as an important market for California almonds.

“We’re hoping to be more aggressive in the future, providing technical assistance to Turkish importers and processors, and eventually educating Turkish consumers about the health benefits of eating almonds,” Schneller explained. “We see a win-win relationship with Turkey going forward.”

Listen to Schneller’s interview below.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West