As core inflation raised to 24.34% and food inflation raised to 29.26% in October, the government introduced a close monitoring for inflation. Ministries of Agriculture & Forestry and Trade established teams for product monitoring. “We are monitoring 25 products that are in the inflation baskets more closley”, Agriculture & Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said.
Agriculture & Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said that they have established product monitoring teams for 25 food products including flour an wheat. “The government is going to take necessary steps swiftly in coordination with Trade Ministry, if required.” Pakdemirli stated. Speaking to a group of journalists in the parliament, The Agriculture Minister explained that their main duty is to both protect producers and save consumers from negative effects of the inflation. In summary, Pakdemirli said:
“We are monitoring 25 products very closely. We are working in a well coordinated way with the Trade Ministry. To give an example we advised to decrease the import tax for sunflower seed and ensured the tax to come to 13% from 27%. This step is directly related with inflation. We have a responsible official for each individual product. He/she actively works on that product. I know that the Trade Ministry has also taken a similar step.
Inspection of bakeries is responsibility of the Trade Ministry but we are also monitoring flour prices very closely. We already obtained results. But they are not sufficient yet. We are going to have a new meeting soon with the Federation of Flour Industrialists.
NO PROBLEMS ABOUR WHEAT
Turkish Grain Board sells what for 1100 liras. Our wheat stocks are above 2 million tons. We have also issued invitations for tenders and started to import wheat. There are no problems about wheat supplies. As soon as invitations are heard, prices started to fall. Now we are expecting lower prices for flour.
I support our Ministry of Trade. Because he limited profit margins for sales points of bread and enabled a hidden price hike of 20-25% for bakes. But when bakers announce price hikes the day after, I think this is not something positive nor ethical. Profit margins for food are generally lower than other sectors. So all businessmen have a tendency to raise their profits during periods like we are experiencing now.
We have an officer responsible for a particular product. Assume that low crop is expected for potatoes. What should be done? Steps will be taken from product planning to supply and demand equilibrium. If exports needed to be limited, then our friends will advise the Trade Ministry to block exports or at least stop incentives for exports. If required, we may support production of particular products via Agricultural Insurance Pool.