İZMİR - Referans
Turkey, which is the world's biggest producer of Sultani seedless raisin, with a volume of 250,000 tons annually, is threatened with the loss of its status as the designator of global prices.
The only bourse in the world to designate raisin prices, the İzmir Mercantile Exchange, or İTB, has been unable to resist excessive price fluctuations of the product, whose global production is 750-800,000 tons annually.
Speculative prices in the exchange have distressed both producers and merchants. Prices in the seedless raisin market, which opened at YTL 1.5 per kilogram, first rose to YTL 3.25 and then deteriorated sharply to YTL 2. Taking action just a month before the launch of the season, merchants, exporters, brokers and producers guaranteed to carry out all trade transactions at the exchange.
The sector will also make efforts to reduce the current two per 1,000 withholding rate for products trading on the exchange and the registry of around 30,000 tons of raisins purchased by rakı factories.
Exports over the bourse:
Only 10 to 15 percent of raisins are traded on the exchange, said İlhan Zincircioğlu, board member of the İTB. �Our bourse has been losing blood for the last two years. A small portion of the exports reaching 200,000 tons is being registered. Therefore, we have decided to get together with exporters, merchants, agents and brokers to enable voluntary cooperation. In particular we want to see exporters purchasing raisins from the exchange.�
The aim for the initial phase is to register 30 to 40 percent of the production at the exchange, said Tayfur Gürcan, assembly member of the İTB. Noting that the basic duty of the bourse is to designate and declare prices, Gürcan said current artificial prices victimize all. �Turkish grapes, which previously could compete by offering prices below the prices in the United States for years, had hard times in competition this season due to high prices,� Gürcan said. �With the decline of the exchange rate, Europe started to get its grapes from the United States.�
Sector representatives have guaranteed to direct the grapes to the bourse, said Gürcan, adding that there would also be efforts to enable rakı factories to purchase grapes from the bourse.
The efforts of the raisin sector are also welcomed by producers. The more supply and demand the bourse has, the more realistic the prices will be, said Yurtcan Biryol, vice managing director at the Tariş Raisins Agricultural Sales Cooperatives Union. �The decline in prices victimizes producers. Our aim is to create a realistic market order.�
Seedless raisin production, which stood at 200,000 tons due to the drought last year, is expected to rise to over 250,000 tons in the new season to start at the end of August.