FAO GIEWS Country Brief on Turkey (25-April-2016)

Reference Date: 25-April-2016


  1. Despite dry conditions in November and December, overall weather conditions relatively favourable for 2016 crop development

  2. Above-average cereal harvest gathered in 2015

  3. Cereal imports expected to decline and exports to increase in 2015/16

  4. Aggregate food price index increases

Relatively favourable conditions for 2016 winter crop development

Planting of the 2016 winter barley and wheat for harvest from mid‑May (barley) and mid‑June (wheat) was completed in mid‑December. A wet October, which boosted soil moisture for winter grain planting and establishment, was followed by dry weather in November and December.

Nevertheless, although precipitation across the country has been uneven, with a few exceptions, as of early April 2016, above‑average cumulative precipitation provided relatively favourable moisture supplies for further crop development in most regions. In the provinces of Gaziantep, Kilis and Konya, which so far received slightly less‑than‑average cumulative precipitation, some areas are currently suffering from localized dryness.

Above-average cereal crop gathered in 2015

Following the drought-reduced harvest of 2014, cereal production in 2015 recovered owing to abundant moisture levels on account of heavy rains and adequate mountain snow which increased yields. Plantings increased only slightly compared to the 2014 level, as farmers in the southeast part of the country switched from cotton to milling wheat.

Official estimates from the Turkish Statistical Institute indicate an 11 percent increase in cereal production in 2015 compared to the previous year, to about 38.6 million tonnes, including 22.6 million tonnes of wheat (an 18 percent increase on last year) and 15 million tonnes of coarse grains (a 16 percent improvement).

Responding to the increased demand from the feed sector and the broader availability of irrigation, maize production in Turkey is increasing. Some areas, particularly in the southeastern part of the country, are planting maize as a second crop.

Higher cereal exports forecast in 2015/16, while imports expected to decline

Turkey is both a cereal importer and an exporter, importing wheat and exporting wheat products such as pasta and flour. Under the inward process 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 2015/16 marketing year (July/June), aggregate cereal imports, mainly wheat, are forecast to decrease to 5.6 million tonnes (down 32 percent) compared to last year’s 8.8 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 increase to 3.8 million tonnes, some 17 percent above last year’s levels. Still, Turkey remains one of the leading exporters of wheat flour in the world, with Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic being the main markets. However, security concerns in the region increased transportation costs and reduced exports. Flour exporters lost market in Indonesia and the Philippines, but made gains in the Sudan, Angola and Yemen.

Food inflation increased in last quarter of 2015

Latest figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute indicate an annual food inflation rate of 10.9 percent in the last quarter of 2015 compared to 9.28 percent in the second quarter of 2015, but below the peak levels of over 14.7 percent reached in the spring of 2015. The overall CPI in the last quarter of 2015 stood at 8.8 percent, partially supported by the currency devaluation in the first three quarters of 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 April 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.

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