ANKARA, TURKEY — As domestic wheat production lowers and exports of wheat products hold steady Turkey’s wheat imports hit record levels, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The country’s wheat production falls 8% to 17.5 million tonnes in market year 2019-20 compared to the previous marketing year. The report attributes the decline to unexpected dry weather.

Turkey’s wheat consumption ticks up slightly as the decrease in use of it in feed is offset for its demand for food purposes. It is forecast up to 18.3 million tonnes in market year 2019-20, an increase of 200,000 tonnes, the USDA said.

The country’s wheat imports during the first six months of marketing year 2019-20, June to November 2019, were almost double last year’s imports during the same period last year, reaching 5.5 million tonnes. The USDA anticipates the market year 2019-20 imports to increase to 8.5 million tonnnes, on the basis that domestic consumption will continue to rise, and exports of wheat products remain steady.