Earthquake Consequences – Bloom Starts
- Exports in February were 4,685 tons compared to 5,578 tons last year
- Exports year to date are 54,040 tons compared to 57,309 tons last year
As a direct result of the earthquakes on the 6th of February exports were reduced. All factories in Malatya were closed for at least a month. Only goods shipped or in transit to ports before the 6th and exports from Izmir packers were shipped during the month.
The damage to property in Malatya is devastating, we have been in the region this week, downtown Malatya is literally unrecognisable. Roughly half of the buildings have either collapsed or are seriously damaged and will be torn down.
Many villages, especially to the southwest of the city have been badly affected. Most city residents have moved to rural areas or container/tent cities and beyond.
The cleanup is underway, and some limited reconstruction has already started. The Government are said to be preparing recovery packages for local employers, which may include low interest loans and incentives to encourage residents to return.
Factories in the industrial zone (Organize Bolgesi) were not damaged, and some packers including Dogancan have set up safe prefabricated housing for workers and staff inside the zone. We resumed production in the first week of March.
Over the past week bloom started in the main growing regions, around 50% is now open, this will increase to 70% of more over the next week. Weather has not been good, it has been raining heavily for most of the last week which has caused flooding and water-logging in the orchards. More rain is expected for the next few days. There is a cold snap forecast for the middle/end next week, which is the last thing we need !
Demand has not slowed in the local market, some production switched to Izmir immediately after the quake, and in the past few days strong demand from reopening factories in Malatya has started to push the market higher. Ramadan and the risk of frost may also be stoking demand. Inevitably some fruit in farmers storage was buried in the quake, but it is impossible to quantify.
The Lira has slipped around 2% over the past month and is currently 19.04 to the $.
Please keep everyone in the region in your thoughts and prayers, the news coverage may have gone, but there are a million people homeless, many who have lost everything.