ISTANBUL, TURKEY — Turkey’s oilseed production in marketing year 2023-24 is projected to decrease year-over-year because of market dynamics and lower planted area, but the massive Feb. 6 earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people and caused widespread catastrophic damage will have a very minor impact on output, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Total production of oilseeds, including soybeans, sunflowerseeds and cottonseeds, is projected to decrease 17% compared to 2022-23, the USDA said, to nearly 3 million tonnes. Sunflowerseed production in 2023-24 is pegged at 1.6 million tonnes, down 300,000; soybean output is forecast to decline slightly to 140,000 tonnes from 145,000; and cottonseed is projected to fall to 1.25 million tonnes from 1.6 million.

The report noted that the threat of a serious drought could further depress production. According to the Turkish Meteorological Service, cumulative rainfall from October 2022 through January 2023 was more than 40% below the national historical average and the driest period on record in more than 60 years.

Increased import volumes of sunflowerseeds, sunflower meal, and soybeans are expected to partially offset the forecast decrease in oilseed production, the USDA said.