ANKARA, TURKEY — Despite government efforts to increase oilseeds production, Turkey’s oilseeds output in 2019-20 is expected to remain at 3 million tonnes, according to a March 1 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA said Turkey continues to be import dependent for cooking oil and meal for the feed sector.

“The feed sector has been growing at a remarkable speed in recent years,” the USDA said. “New modern mills with large production capacities are pushing smaller ones out of business, although with the economic slowdown, the growth slowed in 2018.”

According to industry sources, in 2018 total feed production in Turkey was 24 million tonnes. Total feed production is expected to reach 30 million tonnes by 2023.

In 2017-18, Turkey imported 655,000 tonnes of sunflowerseed, 931,000 tonnes of sunflowerseed meal and 503,000 tonnes of sunflowerseed oil to meet domestic and export demand.

Domestic soybean production continues to be only a fraction of domestic demand, the USDA said, noting that soybean planting is mostly done for crop rotation purposes.

“While domestic production is expected to increase marginally to 100,000 tonnes, in 2019-20, total domestic consumption of soybean and meal will reach 3.3 million tonnes,” the USDA said.

The Turkish government has been trying to encourage an increase in oilseeds production by offering higher production premium payments, the USDA said. Yet, in 2018-19, the government only increased the cottonseed production premium, but kept the other oilseeds premiums, including soybeans, the same as the previous year.