Reference Date: 10-December-2012
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Above average cereal harvest gathered in 2012
Cereal imports expected to decline in 2012/13 (July/June) while slightly increased exports foreseen
Aggregate food price index decreases in the last several months
The winter cropping season has begun under generally favourable conditions
Planting of winter crops (mostly wheat and barley) is under way. Wet October weather in the region improved soil moisture for planting and establishment while above-normal temperatures supported crop growth prior to the arrival of the cold winter weather. Reports indicate that many farmers in the Cukurova region were undecided whether to plant wheat or oilseeds depending on their profitability.
Estimates of Turkey's 2012 wheat harvest, at 20.1 million tonnes, is some 4 percent higher than the previous five-year average, but about 8 percent lower than last year’s bumper crop. Despite yields being lower in 2012 than in 2011, grain quality in terms of protein content is considered to be higher in 2012.
Similarly, barley production in 2012 is put at around 7 million tonnes, about the same as the five-year average but 7 percent below last year. Maize production increased by 10 percent compared to last year, owing to an increase in second crop area in South East Anatolia and Central Anatolia.
Cereal imports at par with exports in 2012/13
In marketing year 2012/13 (July/June), aggregate cereal imports, mainly wheat, are forecast to decrease to 3.8 million tonnes from last year’s 4.5 million tonnes. On the other hand, cereal exports, mainly wheat flour and durum wheat, are forecast to increase to 3.7 million tonnes, about 31 percent above average and similar to last year.
Turkey remains one of the leading exporters of wheat flour in the world. However, lack of competitively priced grain supplies from Russia and Ukraine are slowing down wheat flour re-exports from Turkey.
In 2012 the Turkish Grain Board purchased about 8 percent of wheat produced in the country compared to 3.8 percent in 2011.
Following shortage of feed ingredients, the Turkish government reduced the import duty on soybean meal and wheat bran from 13.5 percent to 5 percent in October 2012. In addition, the Turkish Grain Board was given quotas for duty-free imports of 500 000 tonnes of maize and 500 000 tonnes of barley until 31 May 2014.
Food inflation decreases
Latest figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute (November 2012) indicate a lower annual food inflation rate of 4.3 percent while the overall CPI in November 2012 stood at 6.37 percent, the lowest in the last 13 months. Increases in the cost of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels contributed mainly to the rate of inflation. This follows the sharp increases of about 11-12 percent in December 2011 and early 2012, from the minimum level of 2 percent in September 2011.
Increased Number of Syrian Refugees
According to UNHCR data, the total number of Syrian refugees reached more than 408 000 registered in December 2012, mostly residing in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The number of Syrian refugees registered in Turkey reached over 135 000 in about 14 camps in seven 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 30 000 recipients