Türkiye has re-imposed customs duties on grain imports to protect local producers ahead of the upcoming wheat harvest. According to the decision published in the Official Gazette, the customs duty on imports of cereals such as wheat, barley, corn and durum wheat has been raised to 130 per cent. The decision will be implemented as of 1 May 2023.
The duty rate on grain imports was reset to maintain domestic market balances after grain prices hit record highs due to the Covid-19 pandemic and last year’s war between Russia and Ukraine. The latest decision, published in the Official Gazette on 25 April, reinstated the previous 130 per cent import duty. Officials have said that the imposition of an import duty on these products ahead of the harvest, which begins on 15 May, is the right decision for the protection of farmers.
In its latest report covering the period between 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023, the Turkish National Grain Council stated that “In some regions, wheat harvest is months away. Bread wheat can be imported with zero customs duty until 30 April. Since sustainability in production depends on the protection of the producer, we suggest that the zero customs duty application on 30 April be reviewed.” Wheat production in Türkiye is estimated to be around 20 million tons in 2023.