Reference Date: 18-August-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Below-average cereal harvest gathered in 2014
Cereal imports expected to increase, exports to decline in 2014/15
Aggregate food price index declined recently but remains high
Erratic weather affect cereal harvest in 2014
The 2014 wheat crop suffered from drought in the autumn of 2013 followed by cold weather. Spring rains improved soil moisture but first estimates from the Turkish Statistical Institute indicate a 10 percent decrease in cereal production in 2014, compared to last year, to about 33.8 million tonnes. The forecast includes 19.8 million tonnes of wheat (11 percent decrease on last year) and 13.1 million tonnes of coarse grains (also a 10 percent decline).
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 5.9 million tonnes (+17 percent) compared to last year’s 5 million tonnes. Likewise, cereal exports, mainly wheat flour and durum wheat, are forecast to decrease to 2.7 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 Indonesia being the main markets.
Slight decrease in food inflation
Latest figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute (July 2014) indicate an annual food inflation rate of 12.8 percent compared to a peak of 14.7 percent in May 2014. Earlier in 2014, food inflation averaged around 10 percent. The overall CPI in July 2014 stood at 9.3 percent. The weakening of the Turkish Lira may 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 almost 3 million in early August 2014, mostly residing in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The number of Syrian refugees registered in Turkey exceeded 822 000, of which about 30 percent reside in about 22 camps in ten southern or southeastern provinces, the part of the country that shares borders with the unrest-torn Syrian Arab Republic. Some of the refugees, however, have been reported to have returned to the Syrian Arab Republic.
The World Food Programme (WFP) complements the Government’s effort in supporting the refugees by supplying food vouchers to about 300 000 recipients in December 2014.