US dairy producers have a new outlet to help draw down a glut in milk products as Turkey agreed to resume imports from the US after a lull in trade between the two countries that lasted nearly three years. Turkish officials reached an agreement on a new certificate on July 31, which can be accessed here. The Turkish government requires trade certificates for market access, but the certificate for US dairy products expired before renegotiations were made.
While Turkey produces over 18 million tonnes of dairy products annually, its growth in domestic consumption has outpaced production in recent years. Turkey does look to nearby European countries like Germany and Ireland for imports, but the country sources some specialty products from the US like whey powder, cheese, butter, and infant formula. At its peak in 2014, import volume of dairy products from the US reached 5,991 tonnes, valued at $24 million.
The reopening of the Turkish dairy market is a welcome development for dairy farmers in the US, which is still working on NAFTA renegotiations with neighboring Canada. US President Trump calls Canada’s dairy system a “disgrace,” and is pushing the country to make its dairy sector more open to US products. The Trump administration doesn’t appear to be offering much flexibility on the issue, and it is unclear at this time if Canada is open to compromising on what is a delicate political matter at home.
With trade tensions lingering between the US and Canada, Turkey could increasingly look to the US for dairy products. Gro Intelligence subscribers can easily monitor trade and dairy-market developments.
Turkish imports of US dairy products fell drastically in 2014 (left). Based on the most recently available data, Turkey’s domestic consumption of dairy products is quickly outpacing production (right).