Turkish millers shatter all-time flour export record

20 February 20243 min reading

In 2023, Turkey made history by exporting 3 million 663 thousand tons of flour, marking the highest flour exports ever recorded in world history, thereby setting a new record. Turkish millers aim to also export over 3.5 million tons of flour in 2024.

Dr. Eren Günhan Ulusoy

Since 2015, Turkey has been the undisputed champion of flour exports worldwide. In 2023, Turkey achieved a historic milestone by exporting 3 million 663 thousand tons of flour, marking the highest flour exports ever recorded in global history. Dr. Eren Günhan Ulusoy, President of IAOM Eurasia, reminded that Turkish millers reached a peak of 3.5 million tons in 2018. Providing an update on recent accomplishments, he stated, “In 2023, we renewed the record with 3 million 663 thousand tons of exports, generating approximately 1.5 billion dollars in revenue. Despite challenges such as the pandemic and war disrupting supply chains and impacting food security, Turkey has positioned itself as the primary supplier of this essential food staple. Our consistent top position has made Turkey the foremost country associated with flour globally. Even in challenging times, we have emphasized our strong position. 2023 will be remembered as a remarkable year in terms of exports.”

Ulusoy remarked on the resolution of shipment issues from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and the return to a pre-war period, but highlighted a new challenge arising in the Red Sea. He stated, “As an industry, we are encountering setbacks in the Far East. We observe a surge in demand in countries like Djibouti and Sudan before reaching the southern region of the Red Sea. Nevertheless, in January, we saw a 22 percent increase in exports compared to the same period last year, totaling 344 thousand tons. Flour’s status as a staple food affords us an advantage. While demand can be postponed, it cannot be entirely canceled. Rising freight costs may halt or reduce textile exports, but in the food sector, such delays are only feasible for a month or two. We anticipate further growth in exports, particularly in March. Our goal for 2024 is to surpass 3.5 million tons of flour exports.” 


IAOM Eurasia President Dr. Eren Günhan Ulusoy emphasized that amidst the challenges of the pandemic, conflict, and logistical issues, the foremost concern for the industry is the climate crisis. He stated, “Over the past 3 years, except for the 2023 season, Turkey has witnessed a decline in wheat production due to below-average rainfall. During the same period last year, precipitation experienced a significant decrease of up to 60 %. However, this season presents a more favorable outlook, with rainfall exceeding the normal level by 27 %. Notably, there has been a remarkable increase of 60 % in Central Anatolia and up to 100 % in the Marmara region compared to last year. These developments have bolstered our expectations for wheat production. Achieving 22 million tons in 2023, we anticipate a production of 24-25 million tons this year, alongside a 3 % expansion in sowing areas.” 

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