Reference Date: 04-December-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Favourable conditions for 2016 winter crop planting
Above-average cereal harvest gathered in 2015
Cereal imports expected to decline, exports to increase in 2015/16
Aggregate food price index decreases
Favourable conditions for 2016 winter crop planting and establishment
Land preparation and planting of the 2016 winter cereal crops are proceeding under favourable conditions following wet October, which boosted soil moisture for winter grain planting and establishment. Some localized short-term dryness was reported in the Anatolian Plateau (western Turkey), due to limited precipitation in November.
Above-average cereal crop gathered in 2015
Following the drought-reduced harvest of 2014, cereal production in 2015 recovered owing to abundant moisture levels on account of heavy rains and adequate mountain snow which increased yields. Plantings increased only slightly compared to the 2014 level, as farmers in the southeast part of the country switched from cotton to milling wheat.
Official estimates from the Turkish Statistical Institute indicate a 11 percent increase in cereal production in 2015 compared to last year, to about 38.6 million tonnes, including 22.6 million tonnes of wheat (18 percent increase on last year) and 15 million tonnes of coarse grains (16 percent improvement).
Responding to the increased demand from the feed sector and the broader availability of irrigation, maize production in Turkey is increasing. Some areas, particularly in the southeastern part of the country, are planting maize as a second crop.
Higher cereal exports forecast in 2015/16, while Imports expected to decline
Turkey is both cereal importer and exporter, importing wheat and exporting wheat products, such as pasta and flour. Under the inward process regime, exporters of wheat products are eligible to obtain special import licenses when they export wheat flour, pasta, biscuits, etc. These licences are currently traded at USD 100 per tonne.
In the 2015/16 marketing year (July/June), aggregate cereal imports, mainly wheat, are forecast to decrease to 5.7 million tonnes (down 35 percent) compared to last year’s 8.7 million tonnes. The Russian Federation is the leading supplier of wheat which is used entirely for processing. On the other hand, cereal exports, mainly wheat flour and durum wheat, are forecast to increase to 3.6 million tonnes, some 10 percent above last year levels. Still, Turkey remains one of the leading exporters of wheat flour in the world, with Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic being the main markets. However, security concerns in the region increased transportation costs and reduced exports. Flour exporters lost market in Indonesia and the Philippines, but made gains in the Sudan, Angola and Yemen.
Food inflation decreased in October 2015
Latest figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute (October 2015) indicate an annual food inflation rate of 8.7 percent, below the peak levels of over 14.7 percent reached in spring 2015. The overall CPI in October 2015 stood at 7.7 percent. The Government is concerned with the high levels of food inflation in the country and in December 2014 established a committee to evaluate food and agricultural markets.
Increased number of Syrian refugees
According to UNHCR data, the total number of Syrian refugees in the neighbouring countries exceeded 4.2 million in late November 2015, mostly residing in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The number of Syrian refugees registered in Turkey was estimated at about 2.2 million, with a large number of refugees probably not being registered.