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Country Briefs

  Turkey

Reference Date: 23-June-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Despite autumn dryness, above average cereal crop forecasted

  2. New support programme for agricultural products starting in 2017

  3. Slightly higher cereal imports forecast in 2017/18, exports expected to ease

  4. Food inflation increases due to weaker Turkish Lira

Despite autumn dryness, above average crop forecasted

Harvesting of the 2017 winter barley started in mid-May and will finished by mid-July. Wheat harvesting is expected to start at the last decade of June and will continue until early August.

An autumn drought was reported across the major producing areas following a lack of significant precipitation between the end of September and early November 2016. Precipitations resumed in December and continued in January, but were too late for the establishment of winter grains in the colder growing areas such as Anatolian Plateau which became dormant by late November following a cold spell. Dormant crops usually rely on winter precipitation for spring emergence and establishment. However, timely moisture during the reproductive and grain filling development stages significantly improved yield prospects on the Anatolian Plateau, resulting in a forecast of a slightly above average harvest.

The first pre-harvest forecasts from the Turkish Statistical Institute indicate a 5 percent increase in cereal production in 2017 compared to last year, to about 37 million tonnes, including 21.8 million tonnes of wheat (a 6 percent increase on last year) and 15.1 million tonnes of coarse grains (a 3 percent improvement).

New support programme for agricultural products starting in 2017

A new subsidy allocation system for agricultural products, called the National Agriculture Project, will be implemented from 2017 (actual implementation date has not yet been announced). The Project aims to diversify Turkey’s agricultural production, increase productivity and reduce the planted area of water-intensive crops such as rice and soybeans in drought-prone areas. Within the new scheme, the country is divided into 941 agricultural basins based on climate and soil categories to subsidize specific crops for each zone. In total, 19 strategic crops, including wheat, barley, maize, rye, oats, triticale, paddy rice and forage crops, will be subsidized. Only wheat and forage crops will be subsidized in each basin.

Slightly higher cereal imports forecast in 2017/18, while exports expected to slightly lower

The country is both a cereal importer and exporter, importing wheat and exporting wheat products such as pasta and flour. Under the current 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 2017/18 marketing year (July/June), aggregate cereal imports, mainly wheat, are forecast to increase to 7.4 million tonnes (up 4 percent) compared to last year’s 7.1 million tonnes. The Russian Federation is historically the leading supplier of wheat. The imported wheat is used primarily for processing.

Cereal exports, mainly wheat flour and durum wheat, are forecast to decrease slightly to 4.1 million tonnes, some 8 percent above the five-year average. The country 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 country’s total exports of wheat products.

Food inflation increased in May 2017

Latest figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute indicate an annual food inflation rate of 17 percent in May 2017 compared to 3.29 percent in November 2016. The overall CPI in May 2017 stood at 11.7 percent up from 7 percent in November 2016, supported mainly by weaker Turkish Lira. The official medium-term inflation target in the country is 5 percent.

Stable number of Syrian Arab Republic refugees

According to UNHCR, the total number of Syrian Arab Republic refugees in the neighbouring countries exceeded 5 million by early June 2017, mostly residing in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The number of Syrian Arab Republic refugees in the region started increasing towards the end of 2013, and grew steadily until early 2016. The number of Syrian Arab Republic refugees registered in the country was estimated at close to 3 million, relatively stable since March 2016. However, a large number of refugees is probably not being registered. More than 90 percent of the refugees in the country live outside of the camps in urban and peri-urban areas. Some 70 percent of the refugees are children and women.

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