ISTANBUL, TURKEY — The Turkish Agriculture Ministry recently announced that it will halt wheat imports from June 21 through mid-October to protect Turkey’s farmers from price decreases and other negative impacts during this year’s harvest.

The measures would be implemented to “prevent our producers from being affected by price decreases due to supply density during the harvest period, to meet the raw material supply required for our exports from domestic production, and to ensure market stability in favor of producers,” the ministry said.

This action taken by one of the world’s largest wheat importers likely will cause more price fluctuation in an already volatile global market.

The measure will have its greatest impact on Russia, Turkey’s top wheat supplier. Russia, the world’s leading wheat exporter, is expecting a slightly smaller production and export totals in the 2024-25 marketing year, which has caused wheat prices to surge in recent weeks. However, after Turkey announced its import ban last week, Chicago wheat futures fell 7.5%, their biggest weekly loss since July 2023.

With the wheat harvest just getting started in Turkey, the Turkish Statistical Institute’s first forecast for the country’s 2024 crop production projects wheat output was at 21 million tonnes, a 4.5% decrease compared to last year. It projected a 5.4% decrease in overall grain production this year.

The Turkish ministry also noted that flour exports from domestically produced wheat, banned since September 2018, would be allowed. Turkey, perennially the world’s largest flour exporter, typically exports flour produced from imported wheat.