Turkish poultry meat exports have dropped by 50 percent so far in 2015. The drop in trade was due to speculation about possible avian influenza cases and escalating terror attacks, poultry industry representatives in Turkey told Hurriyat Daily News. Whereas exports were around US$1 billion in 2014, this year’s optimistic figure from Poultry Products Promotion Group head, Müjdat Sezer, was $700 million.
Exports to Iraq decreased by 80 percent in the short term after a number of avian influenza cases were seen in Turkey and Iraq temporarily imposed a new tax on imported poultry meat earlier in 2015, but Ahmet Ergün , secretary general of the Poultry Meat Producers and Breeders Association (BESD-BIR), said that the trade resumed once the outbreaks ceased and the tax hike was revoked.
According to Abdurrahman Çakar from the Sakarya Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Turkey produces around 2 million metric tons of poultry meat a year, of which it exports around 20 percent.
After 8 years without an outbreak of avian influenza, Turkey was hit by the H5N1 highly pathogenic variant of the virus in 3 poultry flocks in the northern province of Kastamonu as well as Balikesir and Manisa in the west of the country in April and May 2015, according to reports sent to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
In 2013, the most recent year for which the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Statistics Division has published figures, Turkey’s chicken meat production was just under 1.76 million metric tons.