Turkey accelerates barley imports due to drought

08 November 20212 min reading

Turkey’s state grain board (TMO) has been aggressively importing feed barley in the new marketing year (June-May) after severe droughts caused significant yield loss in the Southeast and Central Anatolia regions. Turkey’s barley fields are generally unirrigated, and yields are directly linked to rainfall. The crop conditions were poor enough that some farmers decided not to harvest their fields because of low yields.

The two major sectors using barley in Turkey are the malting and beer industry, accounting for approximately 10 to 20 percent of total consumption, and the feed sector, which uses the vast majority of available barley supplies. Barley has traditionally been preferred as a feed grain in Turkey, especially for ruminants. Barley consumption for feed use is directly linked with price; however, the feed sector continues to grow, and, in turn, drives continued demand for barley. Imports are a regular part of the balance sheet when domestic production is forecast to fall to levels well below domestic industry demand.

In the last several years, Turkey has struggled with food inflation not only in food staples like rice and bread, but also in popular livestock and poultry products with compound feed prices increasing as much as 58 percent for broiler feed in 20204 . The surges in food prices can be attributed to insufficient domestic production due to drought, a serious increase in international commodity prices, and the Turkish Lira’s depreciation against other currencies. To curb increasing costs of importing feed barley, the Government of Turkey issued a presidential decree on September 8 to eliminate import tariffs on several pulses and grains, including barley, through the end of 2021.

TMO has been active in the barley market with tenders and sales to stabilize the domestic barley price. To begin MY2021/22, TMO imported nearly 670,000 tons of barley from June through August with two issued tenders in June and July 2021, almost as much all of MY2020/21. The primary origins of those sales were Russia, Ukraine, and Romania. TMO also issued tenders for another 505,000 tons of barley in September for October delivery. USDA

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