Canada Lentil Exports to Turkey Expected to Ease

After booming business in 2020, Canadian lentil exports to Turkey are expected to cool this year.

“We’ll still see very strong demand for pulses in Turkey, but maybe we’ll see (exports at) more than 2019 levels but not as much as 2020 levels,” said Mac Ross, Pulse Canada director of market access.

According to Statistics Canada data, 534,160 tonnes of Canadian lentils valued at C$355 million were imported by Turkey during calendar year 2020, way up from around 350,000 tonnes in 2019. In fact Turkey’s purchases in 2020 made the nation the second-largest buyer of Canadian lentils behind India. (Turkey also acts as a distribution hub and exports lentils to Africa and the Middle East).

According to Ross, a below-average domestic harvest and lowered import tariffs all helped drive Canadian lentil exports to Turkey this past year.

Fethi Sonmez, CEO of Armada Foods in Turkey, also attributed some of the big increase in Canadian shipments to the fact Turkish export demand shifted from Kazakhstan to Canada. However, he cautioned that Turkey should have a larger crop of its own this year, which may limit Canadian exports. Although dryness could be a complicating issue, he said Red lentil acres in Turkey could be up as much as 30%.

Meanwhile, Ross said the focus for Canadian pulse growers and exporters right now is India.

“We saw over the past year they are willing to adjust their lentil tariffs up and down when needed. At Pulse Canada, we’re going to push for predictability and transparency in how India runs their import policy and their tariffs.”

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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