October 3, 2003
EU Inspects Turkish Poultry Plants For 2003 Export
Five Turkish facilities are currently being inspected by the EU veterinarians for approval to export poultry meat to the European Union. Turkish officials estimate that, during the first year, exports for the five plants could total up to 10,000 tons. An additional 4 plants will be inspected by next March. Turkish officials are hoping that this could eventually lead to additional exports to other markets including Russia and the Middle East. While the Turkish exports could compete with U.S. poultry in other markets, Turkey's need for U.S. soybeans and corn could also increase.
EU Begins Inspections
In March, Turkish officials indicated that the EU would begin inspection of several poultry facilities for approval to export poultry meat to the European Union. According to Turkish poultry representatives, EU veterinarians are currently in Turkey inspecting 5 facilities. An additional 4 facilities applied to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs but have been asked to wait until March 2004. The 5 facilities now being inspected are some of the largest and most modern facilities in Turkey.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) has agreed to allocate and assign 35 veterinarians to the facilities. The veterinarians who will be located on the premises will be responsible for overall quality control and record keeping as required by the European Union.
One Million Ton Capacity
Poultry officials estimate that during the first year 10,000 tons of poultry meat could be sold to Europe. This amount could climb much higher in future years. Turkey produces approximately 680 TMT of poultry meat a year but has the capacity to produce 1 million tons. Turkish business representatives believe that EU approval could raise the image of Turkish poultry products and encourage other countries to buy from Turkey. Turkey exports some products to both Russia and the Middle East but believe they could expand these markets considerably. The expanded export market could also serve as a safety valve for the Turkish poultry sector. In the 1990s, poultry production increased considerably, which in turn led to overproduction, falling prices and many bankruptcies. A larger export market could alleviate this cycle.
Turkish facilities are very modern and the cost of shipments would be much lower than their competitors. For the United States, poultry producers could face stiffer competition in other markets. However, Turkey currently cannot produce enough feed ingredients (soy and corn) to supply its poultry sector. This year Turkey imported approximately 1 million tons of corn and a similar quantity of soybeans and meal to meet the needs of its feed sector. The United States supplied over half of both Turkey's soy and corn. As a result, production increases could result in much higher U.S. sales of both those products to Turkey.