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Turkey restricts pasta and bulgur exports due to drought

11 June 20213 min reading

Turkish Ministry of Commerce added pasta, bulgur and wheat semolina to the list of goods subject to export registration, including vermicelli, couscous, ravioli, noodle and instant noodle.

The Communiqué of the Ministry of Commerce on the Amendment of the Communiqué on Goods Subject to Export Registration was published in the Official Gazette and entered into force. Accordingly, pasta, bulgur, and wheat semolina were also included in the list. Henceforward, the list includes pasta (including all products such as vermicelli, couscous, ravioli, noodles, and instant noodles included in the sub-explanations of the aforementioned HS code), bulgur, and wheat semolina (small pieces obtained from coarse grinding of wheat and wheat coarse flours). The customs declaration forms have to be registered by the General Secretariat of the Exporters' Associations before the export of the products in question. Besides, with the circular sent to the sector players from the exporters' unions, the export of pasta produced from 100% soft wheat to be produced from imported wheat under the inward processing regime (DIR) has been allowed. Before the circular, in the production of pasta, 70 percent of the wheat was supposed to be hard wheat and 30 percent was supposed to be soft wheat. Ahmet Güldal, General Manager of Turkish Grain Board (TMO), said that domestic use of bread wheat has been limited in pasta export, especially in order to reduce the pressure on bread wheat. Güldal said, “After this decision, it will no longer be possible to produce pasta with bread wheat from the country and export it. As another step, the use of bread wheat, which was 30 percent previously, in pasta exports performed under the inward processing regime (DIR), particularly to African, South American and Near East countries, has been increased up to 100 percent as of May 31. The aim here is to reduce the demand pressure on domestic bread wheat. Except for those realized within the scope of DIR, exports of pasta, bulgur, and wheat semolina have been subjected to registration by the Ministry of Commerce and TMO has been given authority to approve the final export of these products. In this direction, our institution is planning to limit the absolute export of pasta obtained from durum wheat as of January 2022. In other words, as of January, it will not be possible to make pasta from durum wheat produced in the country and sell it abroad.” Nihat Uysallı, President of the Pasta Producers and Industrialists' Association (MÜSAD), stated that it is a positive and appropriate decision to register the exports of pasta, bulgur, and wheat semolina, and added, "The aim here is to keep our wheat within the country in case of possible need." Uysallı noted that the said decision has been taken within the scope of measures to be taken in a possible drought. Pointing out that the decision was aimed at controlling the export of wheat produced in Turkey, Uysallı said, “It is a very appropriate decision for the sector in order to avoid problems in the domestic market.” Abdülkadir Külahçıoğlu, President of the Turkish Pasta Manufacturers' Association (TMSD), stated that the demand expressed by the sector for a long time was met with the circular in question. Külahçıoğlu said that pasta produced from soft wheat is preferred in regions such as South America, Africa, Syria, and Iraq and that since the pasta to be exported is made from 100% soft wheat, exports to these markets will grow.

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