High inflation makes sardines over-priced for most consumers in Turkey
Sardine, once a food of the low-income earners in Turkey, has become unaffordable for most households as its price hit 150 Turkish liras, or about $8.75, per kg, according to a report by Duvar.
While summer months in Turkey are a period of opportunity for small fishermen who do not have to compete with fishing vessels longer than 12 m between 15 April and 1 September due to a seasonal fishing ban, they now face difficulty selling their catch because of the high price and the fall in the purchasing power of consumers.
Current prices in Europe is an indication that the increase in the price of Turkish sardine is not related only to the ongoing currency crisis that has one of its greatest impact on energy costs, namely the price of gas used by fishing boats.
According to European Price Report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the wholesale price of fresh sardine was $1.47 per kg in the Italian market, $1.35 to $2.42 depending on size in the Spanish market, 2.84 in the French market in May 2022, despite a significant inflation suffered in all three markets.
A fisherman working at the wholesale fish market in Turkey's western city of Çanakkale told Duvar that while consumers earlier used to buy several kilos of sardine, some now bought it by the piece.
Yoldaş Kartal said:
"They usually buy four or six sardines per person. A family of four is likely to buy 16. Considering that we are in the middle of the fishing season right now, I don't think the prices will go down much."
Another fisherman, Kemal Dinçer sounded more optimistic. He said that the prices could be expected to fall down to 50 TL (about $2.9) in the following months.