USDA reduces its estimate for Turkey's wheat imports

11 February 20223 min reading

The USDA attaché in Turkey has reduced Turkey's wheat import forecast for the 2021-22 season to 10.8 million tons. This is 5 million tons less than USDA's previous forecast.

In its latest report released Jan. 31, the Ankara attaché of the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Services agency maintained Turkey’s wheat production forecast at 16.25 million tons in 2021/22. Year-over-year production is down 2 million tons in large part because of severe drought conditions across much of the country during the growing season.

Looking ahead to next year, winter wheat planting was completed this past November with harvest this spring. Rainfall levels from October to December 2021 are better compared to the same period last year, except in southeastern Anatolia. “While rainfall conditions appear to be on a favorable trajectory, the rising cost of agricultural inputs, such as fertilizer and tractor fuel, and the government’s continued market interventions to hold the price of wheat and flour stable may dampen farmers’ spring planting decisions,” the attaché said in the report.

Turkey continues to struggle against rising food inflation, which stems from a variety of factors, such as major grain production losses from the drought in MY 2021-22, the depreciation of the Turkish Lira against other major currencies, rising international commodity prices, and higher input costs, such as fertilizer, pesticides, fuel, and electricity.

Following are selected highlights from the report:

The wheat consumption forecast for 2021-22 is revised downward by 400,000 MT to 21.1 million tons. This revision is made because wheat import volumes are expected to contract slightly in response to strong barley imports. Despite this downward adjustment to 2021-22 consumption levels, overall consumption is still expected to be 500,000 MT higher than the previous year due to growing wheat demand.

The 2021-22 wheat import estimate is revised slightly downward to 10.8 million tons but remains 2.7 million tons higher than the previous year because of the increased need for imports resulting from the drought losses. The current import estimate assumes the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) will continue purchasing imported wheat until Turkey’s next wheat harvest, strong barley imports, and a projected slowdown in feed demand in the second half of the marketing year.

According to the Turkish Statistic Institute (TUIK), Turkey’s wheat imports during the first six months of 2021/22 (from June-November 2021), increased by 20 percent year-over-year, reaching about 5.3 million tons. Russia and Ukraine were the main suppliers, supplying 3.3 million tons and 1.3 million tons, respectively. TMO has purchased 5.75 million tons of grain in twenty different tenders since June 2021.


For 2021-22, Turkey’s wheat exports, including wheat products, are forecast slightly higher at 6.55 million tons which is close to the previous year’s export level. This estimate assumes better flour export than last year, and stable exports of pasta and transshipped wheat to neighboring countries.


Turkey’s wheat flour exports during the first six months of 2021-22 (from June to November 2021) were just above last year’s exports of the same period, reaching 1.67 million tons. For this period, Iraq remained the leading market for Turkish flour, with exports totaling 750,000 MT. The next largest destinations for Turkish flour were Syria at 162,000 MT, Yemen at 137,000 MT, and Djibouti at 111,000 MT.


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