Fats are vital for the human body as carbohydrates and proteins.They are the basic necessities of the body.Vegetable oils are
low in saturated fat and containes free fatty acid which is necessary for cell structure,that's why it has an important place in our fat intake.
Experts says that the human body needs about 1700 calories on a daily basis.An individual with a healthy diet needs to provide 35% of his/her daily
caloric need from fats.That means,595 calories of fat which is equal to 65 grams of fat intake each day.This figure means,24 kg of fat consumption per year.
Vegetable oils that are crucial for human body also constitutes an important place in the economy.
In the 1980s, with the development of the agricultural industry, the processing of oilseeds and vegetable oil has become easier and
the industry has evolved in this extent.Turkey has become a major producer of vegetable oil.World export data of 2013 is not available
yet but the sector's global exports were 105.7 billion dollars in 2012, while imports totaled $ 107.3 billion.In 2012, Turkey's
share in world exports of vegetable oil was 1.1% and the share of imports was 1.7 % .
RAW OIL IMPORTS CREATES VALUE ADDED
While sunflower oil production has an important place in Turkey,the production of soybeans and corn oil has increased parallel to domestic
demand.Production of sunflower oil is accounted for 70 % of the vegetable oil produced in Turkey.On the other hand,raw cotton and canola
oils are also being produced.All of these are accounted for 90 % of our exports when palm oil production is added.Although Turkey is at the
forefront among vegetable oil exporters,it can not meet the raw material needs from domestic market and tries to close the gap by oilseed imports.
However,imports are carried out as raw oil in order to create added value.Chairman of Promotion Group and Central Anatolian Exporters
Union Turgay Ünlü says Turkey exported 754 thousand tons of sunflower seeds worth 443 thousand 959 dollars and 743 thousand tons of raw oil
worth of 987.3 million dollars with the total of $ 1.431 million dollars of imports in 2012.Ünlü underlines that the increase in imports
was 690.5 % between 2003 - 2012."Domestic market's 599,236 thousand dollars share -equals to 450,962 thousand tons- is met with oil imports.
626 thousand tons of raw sunflower oil import worth of 908.1 million dollars occurred in 2013” said Ünlü.
EXPORTS INCREASED 8 TIMES IN THE LAST DECADE
Despite the fact that Turkey is dependent on raw material,it still has managed to increase the vegetable oil exports eight times in the last decade.
Turkey's 2013 vegetable oils exports decreased by 2.5% to 1,085 million dollars compared to the previous year.According to Ünlü, despite the
decrease in value caused by raw oil prices collapse, an increase by 8.3% in quantity occurred with 772 thousand tons.Ünlü added, " An increase
about eight times has been recorded in export in the last decade.”.The largest export share was " refined sunflower oil” in2013. Despite an
increase by 1.4% in quantity compared to previous year, a decline occurred by 8.2% in value with 816 million dollars. Ünlü said,"The
second product that has the largest share of the sector's exports "margarine” exports increased by 24 % to $ 189.1 million in the same year”.
FINDING NEW MARKETS IS A MUST
Turkey mostly exports vegetable oil to the Middle East and Iraq is taking the first place among the countries Turkey do business with. In 2013,Turket
exported goods worth of 934.7 million U.S. dollars to the Middle East.$ 655 million share was from Iraq.Export of the region countries'sectoral exports
share was 86.2 %. Ünlü says,in order to reach the 2023 target which is 3.2 reagents dollars of exports,new markets must addressed while preserving existing
ones.Ünlü: " Our exporters in the industry being more interested in EU countries,Africa and Far East would contribute to their competitive positions in
these markets and create significant improvements in sector's exports.”
Turkey is performing significant vegetable oil exports in Turkic Republics,either via Russia or directly.In 2013,Turkey exported 4.7 million dollars worth of
vegetable oils to Azerbaijan,9.5 million dollars to Georgia and 1.9 million dollars to Kazakhstan. However, the sector has been experiencing problems in exporting
to the Turkic Republics.Ünlü says,"Delivery takes a long time and the costs are high.”
TURKEY'S TARGET IS RUSSIA
Russia and neighbouring countries showed great interest in especially sunflower oil at the "ProdExpo 2014 International Food,Drink anf Raw Food Materials
Fair”held in Moscow,Russia.Russia is a leading manufacturer of sunflower oil seeds but Turkey has re??ning factories with the latest system that might help
Turkey become an alternative providerfor Russia.Pasta,Wheat,Pulses and Oils Group (MBTG ) President Ahmet Tiryakioğlu said," Sunflower,canola and soy oil
which are being refined in Turkey turns the country into one of themost imprortant centers.”