Reference Date: 24-April-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Winter grains production in 2015 forecast to increase from previous year’s drought-reduced level
Below-average cereal harvest gathered in 2014
Cereal imports expected to increase, exports to decline in 2014/15
Aggregate food price index increases
Favourable production outlook for 2015 winter grains
Harvesting of winter grains is expected to commence in May 2015. Current indications point to an above-average wheat output this year, following the drought-reduced harvest of 2014. The improved production prospects mainly reflect abundant moisture levels on account of heavy rains and adequate mountain snow, which is expected to result in a recovery in yields. Plantings are estimated to have increased only slightly compared to the 2014 level, as farmers in the southeast part of the country switched from cotton to milling wheat. Planting of the summer cereal crops, to be harvested from August, is underway.
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 South East region, are planting maize as a second crop.
In preparation for a bumper harvest, the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) is reported to be currently selling stocks to free storing capacity. The TMO announced that in the 2015/16 season, it will continue offering a premium of TRY 50 per tonne of wheat (USD 26/tonne) for higher protein content and lowest pest damage, and TRY 40 per tonne of maize. However, farmers prefer to sell maize to the private sector.
The Government support to agriculture in 2015 is budgeted at TRY 10.1 billion (USD 4.1 billion), some 10 percent higher than in 2014. Support included area-based input subsidies (such as for certified seeds, fertilizer and diesel), premiums for improved quality, as well as rural development type measures.
Below-average harvest gathered in 2014 due to erratic weather
The 2014 wheat crop suffered from drought in the autumn of 2013 followed by cold weather. Estimates from the Turkish Statistical Institute indicate a 12 percent decrease in cereal production in 2014, compared to 2013, to about 32.9 million tonnes. The estimate includes 19 million tonnes of wheat (14 percent decrease on last year), 6.3 million tonnes of barley (20 percent decrease) and 6 million tonnes of maize (2 percent increase).
Higher cereal imports forecast in 2014/15, while exports expected to decline
In the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June), aggregate cereal imports, mainly wheat, are forecast to increase to 7.2 million tonnes (+23 percent) compared to last year’s 5.8 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 decrease to 2.8 million tonnes, some 25 percent below average and below last year. 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.
Food inflation increases in March 2015
Latest figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute (March 2015) indicate an annual food inflation rate of 14.1 percent, similar to the peak of 14.7 percent in May 2014, partly attributed to the upward pressure stemming from the poor 2014 harvest. The overall CPI in March 2015 stood at 7.6 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 3.9 million in early March 2015, mostly residing in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The number of Syrian refugees registered in Turkey was estimated at about 1.7 million. Some of the refugees, however, have been reported to have returned to the Syrian Arab Republic.
The World Food Programme (WFP) assisted approximately 220 000 beneficiaries in January 2015.