Pasta Producers and Industrialists Association (MUSAD) Chairman
While many sectors closed the year 2020 with great losses due to the pandemic, the pasta sector passed a successful test in this process. Our industry, which meets the needs of our people in a timely and complete manner despite the pandemic, has also become the pride of our country by increasing its exports.
The Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected our country as well as the world since the beginning of 2020, has brought difficulties and price increases in raw material and product supply in many sectors due to its negative reflections on international trade, especially in the manufacturing and supply chain and logistics.
With the confirmation of the first cases in our country in March, the importance of agriculture and food production once again emerged, and the pasta industry was one of the leading sectors in this process. While pasta was one of the most popular foods on the shelves of the market with the increasing demand, pasta producer companies that continued their production without interruption offered sufficient products to the consumers in a timely and complete manner.
The 11-month foreign trade data of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) covering the January-November 2020 period revealed that the Turkish pasta industry was able to increase its exports while it could meet the needs of our people domestically
Pasta exports of our country reached 1.34 million tons in the 11-month period of 2020 with an increase of 14.2% compared to the same period of the previous year, while the amount of foreign currency obtained in return for exports was up by 24.4% to hit $694 million.
While the pasta sector, which correctly assessed the increasing demand in the world during the pandemic, increased its exports in both quantity and in value. This situation had a limited reflection on the export unit price and Turkey’s pasta export unit price per ton was recorded as $518 with an 8.9% of increase.
OUR EXPORT PRICE IS LOW, NOT WHERE IT DESERVED
Despite the increasing demand for food and international restrictions in 2020, which ended by struggling with the negative effects of the pandemic, there was no problem in terms of basic foodstuffs in our country. Despite the pandemic, our industry has been a pride by meeting the needs of the people in our country fully and completely, at the same time by increasing its exports.
However, a factor that overshadowed these positive and good developments was our export prices. While our industry was passing a successful test in 2020 with its production and exports, our export prices unfortunately remained below our expectations again.
According to TurkStat data, our exports in the 11 months of 2020 were up by 14.2% compared to the same period of the previous year, amounting to 1.34 million tons, and increased 24.4% in value to $694 million.
However, although our 11-month average export unit price increased from $476/ton last year to $518/ton, it is seen that our export price actually did not increase enough when the prices of durum wheat are taken into account. As we have always stated as MUSAD, unfortunately, our export price did not reach the level it deserves in 2020. Our industry, which met the needs of our people and managed to increase its exports despite the pandemic, failed again in value-added exports and brands.
Despite the favorable international conjuncture, such as the increase in raw material prices and the high demand for basic foodstuffs, the increase in our export prices remained limited.
LET’S STRENGTHEN IMAGE OF TURKISH PASTA
If we do not attach importance to value-added production and brand in exports, and the system does not support this, we continue to transfer an important value such as durum wheat at low export prices. Therefore, we should take steps to strengthen the image of Turkish Pasta in exports as soon as possible and prevent exporting at low prices with the concern of filling capacity. This is an extremely vital issue for both our industry and our country.
While the high yield in 2020 increases our hopes in terms of reaching our targets for 2021, we can say that a very positive year is expected for our sector in terms of both our domestic market and our export targets, unless there is a major problem in the yield this year and there is no extraordinary adversity that will shake the general economy.
As the sector, we anticipate that there will be some withdrawal in exports due to the prohibition of absolute exports (10.00 regime) until April 30, 2021, but exports will recover as of the second half of the year with the lifting of the ban.