An import tax hike by Iraq is making it more difficult for Turkish poultry meat and egg producers to export to their main market. The Turkish poultry sector, which has the fourth largest share in the world’s poultry market, has faced a risk of losing its biggest market, Iraq, due to additional customs taxes
With the new taxes, which began to be enforced in northern Iraq at the beginning of this week, Turkish exporters now need to pay US$290 per ton of exported chicken meat, rather than $35 previously, sources said. The increase in the taxes is too high, they added.
The head of the Turkish poultry meat producers and breeders association, Sait Koca, said: “Turkish producers exported around 227,000 tons of poultry to Iraq in 2014 for around $443 million. Unless the new custom taxes are revoked, we are likely to lose our biggest export market to Brazilian exporters.”
Turkish exporters use the Habur Border Gate to enter the Iraqi market.
He continued, “We can also use the Iranian border gates but the Iranian side demands $100 from each truck. The Economy Ministry needs to do something to fix this problem. We are already in talks with ministry representatives and we know they are on it, yet we would like to hear that they have fixed the problem.”
He noted as long as the problem is not solved, Turkish producers will need to slash their production. Ömer Görener, chairman of Turkish poultry producer Banvit, told, “Iraq asks for only $35 per ton at other border gates for poultry imports coming from Brazil or Iran. With the new taxes, our poultry’s price is $255 higher than others per ton, damaging our competitiveness.”
The Iraqi side has also begun implementing the same rise in taxes on egg imports from Turkey. Hasan Konya, head of the Turkish egg producers’ Association, told the newspaper: “Iraq has recently started to take around 4,000 of customs tax from trucks that carry eggs. Turkey had been sending more than 250 trucks full of eggs to Iraq until recently, making over $410 million of contributions to exports to the Turkish economy annually.
“Around 90 per cent of our egg exports are made to Iraq and we now face the risk of losing our biggest market. We hope the problem gets resolved.”