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Flour industry succeeds despite Covid-19 danger

18 January 20214 min reading

Ayten Çandar Işık

Ayten Çandar Işık Çandaroğulları Derya Flour and Feed Industry Board Member

"The flour and bakery products industry passed a major test in 2020 while the world commodity trade contracted by 7 percent due to the pandemic. The market shelves were empty especially at the beginning of the pandemic due to the increasing demand for flour, pasta and pulses, which are among staple food, and the global panic atmosphere. However, thanks to the strong dynamics of the industry at home and abroad, the shelves were managed to be filled within a short time, and nobody was left without products due to the pandemic."

In 2020, we all have carried the same concerns and worries. Both the health and the lockdown measures taken by the governments brought along economic uncertainties. In 2020, we saw that the greatest importance belongs to the food sector, as well as flour and bakery products. We entered a new year with new hopes and expectations and most importantly with health. The important thing is that we proceed on our way by gaining experience and taking lessons from the period we left behind.

Turkish industry, despite being under the influence of Covid-19, has been administered through a very successful process. The production was delivered to consumers without any interruption in the supply chain. Although we have experienced a very volatile period due to factors such as suddenly rising market prices, closing of borders between countries, increase in exchange rates, increase in import prices, zero taxes, and dry weather due to climate change, our industry has been administered very successfully.

While the world has become a big village in the globalization process, trade issues on a global scale have arisen between countries with the effect of Covid-19. We know that nothing will be like before the pandemic and we are taking our measures accordingly. For example, oil prices that suddenly fell due to the pandemic caused a substantial loss of income for Russia. The fact that Moscow imposed taxes on the exports of many agricultural products to fight against inflation has added a tax of 30 dollars on wheat, the most important product for us, as well as an export limitation of 17.5 million tons.

Wheat production

During the pandemic process, we have comprehended how valuable food, particularly grains and wheat, are. Wheat production, which was 20.5 million tons in the 2019/2020 wheat season, increased by 7% compared to the previous season. Although wheat production is expected to increase across the globe in the forthcoming 2020/2021 season, a decrease in agricultural production due to drought depending on climate conditions is possible. According to the last report shared by the International Grain Council, it is estimated that the production will reach the highest level of the last 5 years. The Council foresees that the production will reach 765 million tons in 2020/2021. Thus, it is expected that there will be an increase of 2 million tons in wheat production compared to the 2019/2020 season. In 2021, it is estimated that the EU and the UK will produce 143 million tons of wheat in total in Europe, while it is predicted that France alone will produce 36 million tons of wheat in 2021. The Council expects that global wheat consumption will be around 752 million tons in the forthcoming 2020/2021 season.

world wheat inventory

Estimating that the world wheat inventory will reach the highest level of the last 5 years, the International Grain Council highlighted that global wheat inventory would be around 292 million tons with an increase of 13 million tons.

The flour sector brings an income of over $1 billion to Turkey by virtue of the export of approximately 3 million tons of flour every year. Although exports have slowed down in the first months of the last year with the effect of Covid-19, it bounced back as of June and successfully responded to the demands of global consumers.

In 2020, when international travels, conventional exhibitions and trade delegations became impracticable, the sector took fast action and proceeded on its way with digital marketing.

I believe that our country is managing the pandemic period well because I have the opportunity to follow the conditions in Germany due to the fact that I work closely with them. I wish everyone health first, then happiness and commercial prosperity in 2021.

During this difficult process, I wish God’s mercy upon the precious people of the industry who lost their lives and patience to their families.

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