Over the last 15 years, Turkish broiler meat production has recorded significant growth. Volumes have grown from 417,539 metric tons in 1995 to 1,260,000 last year. Looking ahead, the country’s broiler meat production is set to more double before the end of this decade and approach 3 million metric tons.

With demand growing on the home and international markets, Turkey’s poultry producers are gaining an ever-increasing share of the global market. While the country ranks towards the lower reaches of the world’s 20 largest producers, growing demand, together with greater compliance with international standards, mean that it can be expected to become an ever more important player.

Chart 1: Turkey 2000-2008 poultry meat production 

The industry has not been problem free however. Like other countries, the economic crisis has affected production. Nevertheless, volumes were 15 percent higher in 2008 than in 2007, and by last year had risen to 1,260,000 metric tons. This strong growth is expected to continue.

Turkey currently produces a similar amount of poultry meat to Thailand. However, by 2018, its total output is expected to reach 2,810,000 metric tons, almost double the amount forecast for Thailand in the same year.

Turkish producers face little competition on the home market from overseas producers as the country’s poultry meat imports are legible. Five large producers are thought to account for some half of the country’s total production.

National consumption

On the home market, poultry meat has become the main source of animal protein.

In 1990, per capita consumption stood at 3.8 kg. By 2005, this figure had risen to 14 kg, and by 2008 stood at 15.64 kg. Not only has poultry meat consumption increased but it has taken market share from red meat, production of which is in decline.

Chart 2: Turkey 2000-2008 poultry meat consumption 

Per capita consumption is, therefore, similar to that of Japan, but yet continues to fall slightly below the level of consumption in the EU.

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Industry association BESD-BIR, which represents 90 percent of the industry forecasts, however, that there will a further significant increase in local consumption. By 2018, per capita poultry meat consumption is expected to reach 29.14 kg, while that of the EU is expected to grow only slightly from 17.20 kg to 18.10 kg over the same period.

The Turkish market for poultry is dominated by sales of whole birds, however, there is a growing trend towards processed products, with producers increasingly looking to add value to products.

Exports

Turkey’s overall poultry meat exports have increased significantly over the last decade, although this growth has not always been smooth, with significant declines occurring in 2002 and 2006, primarily due to the impact of avian influenza. If the three years to 2008 are considered as a whole, however, exports grew by 67 percent to reach 47,895 metric tons.

BESD-BIR notes that it is not simply the increase in volumes that demonstrates the sector’s success, but also the increase in price.

Chart 3: Turkey poultry meat exports 2000-2008 

In 2005, Turkey was achieving US$814.6/metric tons. By 2009, this had increased to US$1,229.5/mt, indicating the recognition of the quality of Turkish poultry meat, the association argues.

The EU has opened up to Turkish poultry meat, for example, with some producers approved to export heat treated meat from the end of March 2009. Exports to the EU were due to start during the second half of last year, with more producers hoping for approval soon.

Chart 4: Principal broiler exporting countries and Turkey forecast 2008-2018 

The association adds that since the EU approvals, there has been a noticeable upswing in export activity, not only to the EU but also to other countries including Iraq and Azerbaijan.