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GIEWS Country Brief: Turkey 18-September-2019

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  • Slightly below-average harvest forecast in 2019

  • Cereal imports and exports stable in 2019/20

  • Inflation eased as Turkish Lira relatively stabilized

Slightly below-average 2019 harvest forecast

Harvesting of the 2019 winter wheat and barley crops was completed in early August. The maize harvest is currently ongoing in central and northern parts of the country under favourable dry weather conditions. Winter grains, to be harvested from June 2020 onwards, are expected to be sown in October, depending on soil moisture conditions.

The 2019 cereal harvest is forecast at 34.2 million tonnes, similar to the 2018 output and slightly below the five-year average. In the 2018/19 agricultural season, favourable weather conditions prevailed until March, but dry weather conditions during April and May had a negative impact on grain formation and filling, particularly in Central Anatolia, Cucurova, and Southeast regions.

In 2019, the Turkish Grain Board bought grains at intervention prices of TRY 1 350 (up from TRY 1 050 in 2018) per tonne of common wheat, TRY 1 450 (up from TRY 1 100) per tonne of durum wheat and TRY 1 100 (up from TRY 825) per tonne of barley. At TRY 4.6 per USD in 2018, the procurement price of 1 tonne of common wheat in 2018 in dollar terms (USD 228) is similar to the 2019 price (at TRY 6 per USD) reflecting currency depreciation.

Cereal imports and exports stable in 2019/20

The country is both a cereal importer and exporter, importing wheat grain and exporting wheat products such as pasta and flour.

In the 2019/20 marketing year (July/June), aggregate cereal imports, mainly wheat, are forecast at 9.5 million tonnes, similar to the level of the previous year, but still over 20 percent above the average. The Russian Federation is historically the leading supplier of wheat.

Cereal exports, mainly wheat flour and wheat products, are forecast at an average level of 4.5 million tonnes, about 7 percent below the previous year. The country remains one of the world’s leading exporter of wheat flour, using an inward processing regime policy that allows duty free imports for wheat grains to manufacture processed food products for exports. Iraq, the Sudan and the Syrian Arab Republic account for over 60 percent of the country’s total exports of wheat products.