Severe drought reduces wheat harvest in Turkey

ANKARA, TURKEY – Due to a severe drought, Turkey’s wheat production in 2021-22 fell by 2 million tons, to 16.25 million tons, according to a report by the Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. agriculture (USDA).

Looking to next year, precipitation levels from October to December were better than the same period a year ago. However, rising farm input costs and continued government interventions in the market could dampen spring planting decisions, the USDA said.

Wheat import estimates for 2021-22 are revised down slightly to 10.8 million tonnes, but remain 2.7 million tonnes higher than the previous year due to the increased need for imports resulting losses due to drought.

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), Turkey’s wheat imports in the first six months of 2021-22 increased by 20% year-on-year, reaching 5.3 million tonnes. Russia and Ukraine were the main suppliers.

Turkey’s wheat exports, including wheat products, are expected to increase slightly to 6.55 million tonnes, which is close to the previous year’s export level. This estimate assumes better flour exports than last year and stable exports of pasta and transshipped wheat to neighboring countries.

Turkey’s wheat flour exports in the first six months of 2021-2022 were just above exports in the same period last year, reaching 1.67 million tonnes.

Turkey continues to struggle with food inflation, which stems from significant losses in cereal production, the depreciation of the Turkish lira, rising international commodity prices and rising input costs.

The Turkish government has taken various measures to minimize the rise in inflation. On December 31, 2021, the government extended its zero import duty for corn, wheat, barley, rye and oats through calendar year 2022.

In addition to tariff reductions, in the summer of 2021, President Erdogan instructed the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) to initiate “Flour and Feed Regulatory Action”, which is a long-term strategy to regulate the prices of flour and animal feed. As part of the action, the TMO announced that it would buy and sell imported grain to industry end users at discounted prices until the next harvest to stabilize prices in the country, the USDA said. .

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