WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Turkey’s corn production is forecast to reach 6.1 million tonnes, an increase of 100,000 tonnes, the U.S Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported on Jan 28. The Turkish Grain Board (TMO) procured nearly 5.4 million tonnes of grain after a record production for wheat, barley and corn in market year 2015-16. Much of Turkey is experiencing drought conditions. The impact is being felt most in Central Anatolia, Cukurova and the Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP) region.  However, the Thrace and Aegean regions are also affected. Traders are expressing concern for the next harvest.

Wheat production in Turkey is estimated to reach a record in 2015 due to favorable weather conditions. While yields are high, the quality of the crop is said to be low. Farmers in central Anatolia suffered widely from low quality. Wheat production remains at 19.5 million tonnes, the report said.

All parts of Turkey are experiencing dry weather conditions. Farmers in Cukurova had to irrigate winter wheat, which is very unusual. Some farmers have already replanted wheat, but some farmers are waiting until spring to plant corn. Areas in the Central Anatolia region experiencing drought include Aksaray, Nevsehir, Nigde, northern parts of the Konya region, Polatli and Ankara. The report estimates that the area’s dry land wheat production will be reduced 20%, with spring rain saving some fields.

State Waterworks Authority (DS?) data states that the national average cumulative precipitation between Oct. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2015, decreased drastically in comparison to previous years and experts are concerned because Turkey faces a serious threat of drought this year due to the lack of rain and snow. According to DS? data, the national average cumulative precipitation between Oct. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2015, decreased 30.2% compared to the long-term average, and decreased 29.3% when compared to the previous year’s average.

Due to an unexpected increase in yields in the Central Anatolia region, the revised 2015 corn production forecast is 6.1 million tonnes, an increase of 100,000 tonnes, the report said.

Corn area is expected to remain the same in 2016.
Paddy rice harvest began in the Edirne and Gönen regions on Sept. 4, 2015. All of Turkey’s paddy rice harvest is completed as of November 2015. Rice production remains at 500,000 tonnes in marketing year 2015-16.

The domestic harvest milling rate is around 67%.
Farmers mostly plant barley in unirrigated area. Central Anatolia produced more than half of Turkey’s barley crop. Rainfall in 2015 was considerably higher than in 2014 in Central Anatolia. Barley’s production remains at 7.4 million tonnes in the marketing year 2015-16.

Barley planting is finished across the country, and area is expected to decrease roughly 10% from last year due to the winter drought condition in Central Anatolia.

Following the downing of a Russian jet on the Syria-Turkey border on Nov. 24, 2015, Russia began to announce sanctions on Turkish agricultural products. Especially in first week after the event, some Turkish vessels could not depart from Russian ports due to phytosanitary issues. Contacts report that while some Turkish companies have reportedly faced pressures from Russian port authorities since the event, international companies have continued operations as normal and have been loading their vessels without problems.

Despite all logistical problems especially on the Iraq and Syria borders, the Turkish flour sector maintained the previous year’s performance after an abundant harvest. TMO is still selling domestic wheat for the wheat products exporters. Exporters lost market share in Indonesia and Philippines but compensated for it in Africa, especially the Sudan. Pasta exporters have tried to gain markets in Africa with the help of a new amendment on the IPR which allows imports of milling wheat up to 30% if producers blend milling wheat and durum wheat in order to produce pasta. Wheat product exports during the period from June to November in 2015 were much higher than the same period in 2014. Wheat and wheat products export forecast is revised to 4.5 million tonnes for market year 2015-16.