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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 19-July-2016


  1. Cereal production decreased from last year’s record harvest

  2. Higher cereal imports forecast in 2016/17, exports expected to remain stable

  3. Aggregate food price index increases

Cereal production decreased from last year’s record harvest

Harvesting of the 2016 winter barley concluded in mid‑July, while winter wheat harvesting usually continues until early August. Cumulative precipitation has been uneven across the country. A wet October, which boosted soil moisture for winter grain planting and establishment, was followed by dry weather in November and December. Despite generous rainfall in May, some of the rainfed fields in Central Anatolia, Cukurova and Southeast remained affected by drought conditions, resulting in lower yields of wheat and barley. Area planted to maize decreased due to higher returns to other crops, such as cotton, vegetables and oilseeds.

First crop production estimates from the Turkish Statistical Institute indicate a 10 percent decline in cereal production in 2016 compared to the record breaking 2015 harvest, while it is on a par with the five‑year average. Wheat production is estimated to decrease by 9 percent to 20.5 million tonnes, barley production by 15 percent to 6.8 million tonnes, and maize production by 6 percent to 6 million tonnes.

Higher cereal imports forecast in 2016/17, while exports expected to remain stable

Turkey is both a cereal importer and exporter, importing wheat and exporting wheat products such as pasta and flour. Under the importing 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 2016/17 marketing year (July/June), aggregate cereal imports, mainly wheat, are forecast to increase to 7.6 million tonnes (up 20 percent) compared to last year’s 6.4 million tonnes. The Russian Federation is traditionally 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 remain stable at 4.1 million tonnes, some 20 percent above the five‑year average. Still, Turkey remains one of the leading exporters of wheat flour in the world. Iraq, the Sudan and the Syrian Arab Republic account for over 60 percent of Turkey’s total exports of wheat products. However, security concerns in the region increased transportation costs and reduced exports.

Food inflation increased in June 2016

Latest figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute indicate an annual food inflation rate of 12.8 percent in June 2016 compared to 10.9 percent in the last quarter of 2015, but below the peak levels of over 14.7 percent reached in the spring of 2015. The overall CPI in June 2016 stood at 7.6 percent, partially supported by the currency devaluation in 2015.

Increased number of Syrian refugees

According to UNHCR data, the total number of Syrian refugees in the neighbouring countries exceeded 4.8 million in early July 2016, mostly residing in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The number of Syrian refugees registered in Turkey was estimated at about 2.7 million, with a large number of refugees probably not being registered.