Reference Date: 28-August-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Above average cereal harvest gathered in 2013
Cereal exports and imports expected to decline in 2013/14
Aggregate food price index increased recently
Preliminary estimates indicate an above average cereal harvest in 2013
The 2013 winter grain (mostly wheat and barley) harvest has just been concluded with warm weather conditions prompting an early start to the harvest in almost all of Turkey. Overall weather conditions were favourable during the cropping season although in some areas, the late onset of precipitation affected early crop conditions while in others late cessation of rains affected crops. In addition, this year, farmers increased the use of certified seeds in response to the Turkish Grain Board new protein-based procurement policy,
Despite the overall favourable conditions, significant differences were observed in yields in different parts of the country; yields in Cukurova region and Amik valley, for instance, benefited from favourable rains in April and May while the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region suffered from rains at harvest time. In Central Anatolia, despite the less than favourable weather conditions during in the winter months, yields in the region increased but quality remains a concern.
Accordingly, preliminary estimates from the Turkish Statistical Institute indicate a 2013 cereal crop of about 36.4 million tonnes (an increase of about 9 percent on last year). The wheat harvest, estimated at 21.95 million tonnes, is almost 10 percent higher than the previous five-year average and about 9 percent higher than last year’s crop.
Similarly, barley production in 2013 is put at around 8 million tonnes, about 11 and 12 percent above last year and the five-year average. Maize production is forecast to increase by 8 percent compared to last year, owing to an increase in second crop area in Central Anatolia, Cukurova and Mediterranean regions. High level of investment in the dairy and poultry sectors resulted in increased feed – and maize – demand.
Both cereal imports and exports expected to decline in 2013/14
In marketing year 2013/14 (July/June), aggregate cereal imports, mainly wheat, are forecast to decrease to 3.1 million tonnes from last year’s 3.8 million tonnes. Likewise, cereal exports, mainly wheat flour and durum wheat, are forecast to decrease to 3.4 million tonnes, about 5 percent below average and about 13 percent below last year.
Still, Turkey remains one of the leading exporters of wheat flour in the world. In 2013/14, cereal exports are expected to outperform imports by about 10 percent compared to the 2 percent the previous year.
As of August 2013, the Turkish Grain Board purchased locally about 1.9 million tonnes of wheat (about 8 percent of wheat production) by cash at the intervention prices of TRY 620–765/tonne (USD 307-380) depending on type and quality.
Increase in food inflation
Latest figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute (July 2013) indicate a higher annual food inflation rate of 12.7 percent while the overall CPI in July 2013 stood at 8.9 percent. Earlier in 2013, food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation lingered between 6 to 8 percent. Weakening of the Turkish lira would likely increase the rate of inflation.
Increased Number of Syrian Refugees
According to UNHCR data, the total number of Syrian refugees in the neighbouring countries reached more than 1.8 million in August 2013, mostly residing in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The number of Syrian refugees registered in Turkey exceeded 425 000, of which about 200 000 reside in about 20 camps in eight southern or southeastern provinces, the part of the country that shares border with unrest-torn Syria. Some of the refugees, however, have been reported to have returned to Syria.
The World Food Programme (WFP) complements the Government’s effort in supporting the refugees by supplying food vouchers to about 100 000 recipients in June 2013. The number of WFP beneficiaries is projected to increase to 180 000 in December 2013.