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Country Briefs

  Turkey

Reference Date: 17-January-2018

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Favourable conditions for dormant winter cereals

  2. Marginally above-average cereal harvest gathered in 2017

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

  4. Food inflation eased in December 2017 but remains high due to weaker Turkish Lira

Favourable conditions for dormant winter grains

Planting of the 2018 winter wheat and barley was completed in mid-December 2017. While the eastern crop areas suffered from localized autumn dryness up to mid-November 2017, current vegetation conditions indicate adequate to abundant moisture reserves across the main growing areas for dormant winter grains.

The final crop estimates by the Turkish Statistical Institute put the 2017 cereal production at 36 million tonnes, slightly above last year’s harvest as well as the five-year average. About 21.5 million tonnes of wheat, 7.1 million tonnes of barley and 5.9 million tonnes of maize were produced.

New support programme for agricultural products started in 2017

In 2017, the country implemented a new subsidy allocation system for agricultural products to diversify local 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 are subsidized in each basin.

Cereal imports forecast to slightly increase in 2017/18

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.

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 the country’s total exports of wheat products.

Food inflation eased in December 2017 but remains high

Latest figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute indicate an annual food inflation rate of 14 percent in December 2017, down from 16 percent in November 2017 but up compared to 3.29 percent in November 2016. The overall CPI in December 2017 stood at 12 percent, down from 13 percent in November 2017 but up from 7 percent in November 2016, supported mainly by the weaker Turkish Lira. The official medium-term inflation target in the country is 5 percent.

Stable number of Syrian Arab Republic refugees

The number of Syrian Arab Republic refugees in the country started increasing towards the end of 2013 and grew steadily until early 2016. At the end of 2017, about 3.4 million Syrian refugees were registered in the country, up from about 2.8 million registered at the end of 2016. A large number of refugees is probably not being registered. More than 90 percent of the refugees 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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