“The quality of pasta is directly affected by the quality of durum wheat from which semolina is produced. The world's best quality wheat is produced in Anatolia, the gene center of durum wheat. The Turkish pasta industry makes production in state-of-the-art factories. The quality of durum wheat produced in Anatolia, the homeland of wheat, is recognized and accepted all over the world. The quality of durum wheat and technological production has brought our country's pasta to the fore with its quality and increased its sales on a global scale. Besides, our members have been able to produce special products by focusing on R&D studies in recent years and have started to take the lead in the competition.”
Muhittin Aykut Göymen
Chairman of the Board
Turkey, one of the leading actors in the world pasta industry, is increasing its market share thanks to the latest technology machines and high-quality raw materials. Pasta export, of which average unit price was 549 dollars per ton in the January-June period of last year, increased by 27.5 percent in the same period of this year and reached an average of 769 dollars. In the January-June period of 2022, pasta export increased by 3.6 percent in volume compared to the same period of the previous year and reached 665,469 tons, and in value by 32.1 percent from 352,775,000 dollars to 466,092,000 dollars.
We talked to Muhittin Aykut Göymen, who has been successfully carrying the flag of Mutlu Pasta, one of the well-established companies of Gaziantep, for nearly 30 years, and who was recently elected as the Chairman of the Board of the Turkish Pasta Industrialists' Association (TMSD).
Giving his first interview in the sector to BBM Magazine, Mr. Göymen said that Turkey's pasta export has increased continuously and it is approaching 1.5 million tons today. The answers given by Muhittin Aykut Göymen, who, with his knowledge and experience, is a great chance for the industry, to our questions are as follows:
Dear Mr. Göymen, congratulations on being elected as the Chairman of the Board of the Turkish Pasta Manufacturers' Association. Could you give us information about the activities of the association?
Turkish Pasta Manufacturers' Association (TMSD), which started its activities in 1993, successfully represents the sector on national and international platforms. Turkish Pasta Manufacturers' Association, with 25 members active in the pasta industry acts with the mission of producing solutions to the problems of all stakeholders in the industry. The pasta industry has a significant place in our national agricultural industry. Our sector, which directly and indirectly employs approximately 40 thousand people, has an economic value of 2 billion dollars when evaluated together with its domestic and foreign trade volume. Furthermore, the sector is the second largest exporter in the world and exports to 160 countries.
Can you tell us about Turkey's place in the world pasta market? What do you think about the export markets of the Turkish Pasta Industry?
Our industry's exports, which started with 13 tons in 1970, have approached 1.5 million tons today. The continuity of our production and exports depends on the supply of homogeneous and affordable raw materials with the desired quality, quantity, and standard. The territory of our country has the potential to meet our raw material needs for both the domestic market and export. Our durum wheat production is sufficient to meet almost all the needs of domestic market demand and exports. Domestic consumption has also increased over the years, and we are among the top 10 countries that consume the most pasta in the world.
What would you say about the image of Turkish Pasta in the world?
Pasta is a semi-ready food product obtained by mixing semolina, a durum wheat product, with water and giving desired shapes and drying.
The quality of pasta is directly affected by the quality of durum wheat from which semolina is produced. The world's best quality wheat is produced in Anatolia, the gene center of durum wheat. The Turkish pasta industry makes production in state-of-the-art factories. The quality of durum wheat produced in Anatolia, the homeland of wheat, is recognized and accepted all over the world. The quality of durum wheat and technological production has brought our country's pasta to the fore with its quality and increased its sales on a global scale.
Besides, our members have been able to produce special products by focusing on R&D studies in recent years and have started to take the lead in the competition.
Turkey ranks second in pasta export in terms of volume, whereas it ranks fourth in terms of income. Although Turkey ranks first in pasta production, why does it have a low share in exports?
According to the Trademap data for 2021, the anti-dumping and compensatory measures implemented by the USA, which realizes 9.9% of global imports, and a 20 thousand-ton quota enforced on our country's pasta export by EU countries that realize 27.4% of global imports, are among the main problems of our industry.
The pasta tariff quota should definitely be put on the agenda by the Ministry of Commerce in the "Updating Customs Union between Turkey and European Union" negotiations. Within this frame, our industry has given the information to the General Directorate of Exports of Turkey's Ministry of Commerce, primarily to carry out the necessary studies to remove the EU quotas or to increase the quotas, and has taken the necessary initiatives.
In short, although the Turkish pasta industry has almost no share because of quotas and anti-dumping from the EU and the USA, which are the biggest importers of the world, our industry has achieved this success.
TURKEY HAS ENOUGH PRODUCTION IN BOTH BREAD AND DURUM WHEAT FOR ITS OWN DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION
How does the fact that pasta exports are mostly made with imported wheat within the scope of the Inward Processing Regime (DIR) affect you? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the DIR System for you?
This is a crucial point, thank you for asking me this question.
Turkey has enough production in both bread and durum wheat for its own domestic consumption. However, the export of the pasta industry, which continues to grow steadily and approaches 1.5 million tons, brought with it the necessity of exporting by importing wheat beforehand within the scope of DIR. This brings about a raw material cost dependent on foreign countries in export and a large amount of foreign currency to go abroad again.
Of course, we hope that Turkish farmers will be supported and the exports will be done with our 100% national wheat in the coming years, as in this year. In this case, the domestic production of durum wheat, our raw material in the domestic market, and bread wheat, which we use in exports, will strengthen the pasta industry and 100% of the foreign exchange income we obtain will remain within the country.
How would you comment on your industry when you evaluate the first 6 months of the year?
Pasta exports increased by 6.6% in June 2022 compared to June 2021, reached 120,280 tons, and increased by 44% in value and amounted to 92,508,400 dollars.
In the January-June period of 2022, pasta export increased by 3.6% in volume compared to the same period of the previous year and reached 665,469 tons, while it increased by 32.1% in value and reached 466,092,324 dollars.
While the average unit price per ton was 569 dollars in June 2021, the unit price increased by 35.1% to 769 dollars in June 2022. While the average price per ton was 549 dollars in the January-June period of 2021, it increased by 27.5% compared to the same period of the previous year in the January-June period of 2022 and reached 700 dollars/ton.
As the pasta industry, you gave a great and very successful account of yourself during the pandemic and lockdown periods. To what do you attribute this success of your industry?
First of all, when we look in terms of domestic consumption, annual pasta consumption in Turkey is around 800,000 tons. The capacity of our sector is approximately 3,000,000 tons, which is 3.5 times the consumption.
As the pasta industry, we have proven that there will be no problem in supplying pasta to both the supply chain and our people by using 80% of our capacities to the domestic market in just one month during the pandemic period, and as you said, we gave a successful account of ourselves.
Likewise, in exports, in the pasta industry, as in the whole food industry, the pandemic has increased sales in the panic wave due to quarantine and the disruption it has created in the supply chains, and the importing countries have started to look for alternative vendors, and our industry has increased its exports as a reliable supplier at this point. Despite the quota, our export to EU countries with an increase of 52% in 2020 is the best example of this situation.
Could you give us information about Turkey's pasta production capacity?
World pasta production is 16.9 million tons. Turkey is the world's third largest pasta producer and second pasta exporter. Unlike other producer countries, all pasta factories in Turkey produce the semolina required for pasta production themselves. The installed capacity of the industry with 24 active producers has reached 3 million.
Can you share the world’s pasta production and export figures with us?
According to 2021 World Pasta Organization (IPO) data, annual World Pasta Production is 16.9 million tons.
Our export in 2021 was 1,365,000 tons in amount and 776,175,622 dollars in value. (Source: TURKSTAT)
In the January-June period of 2022, pasta export was 665,469 tons in value and 466,092,324 dollars in value. (Source: TURKSTAT)
How would analyze the future of Turkey's pasta export markets?
As the pasta industry, Turkey is the 2nd largest exporter in the world and is a prominent producer of high-quality durum wheat. I think that Turkish pasta export markets will continue to grow with the existing upwards trend in the upcoming period as well.