WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Turkey’s total wheat production is forecast at 17.5 million tonnes in market year 2016-17. Harvest time was between mid-May and end of June. 

Yields and quality are changing by regions and by fields due to irrigation and precipitation differences. Central Anatolia, Cukurova and some parts of southeast Turkey, especially unirrigated fields, were hit by the drought weather condition. It is forecasted that yield losses will be reach 60% in some parts of Konya in Central Anatolia where harvest will finish around mid-July. Increasing production in Thrace is not sufficient to compensate for losses of other regions.

The first harvest in the Mediterranean coast started in the second week of May. According to field reports, the Cukurova region had yields between 15 kilograms per hectare and 50 kilograms per hectare (depending on irrigation) which was less than the long-term average and last year.

Despite unirrigated areas such as Araban, Yavuzeli, Nizip, overall the region of Gaziantep is having a good year in terms of yield and quality. Farmers enjoyed the durum wheat price which was about 1,020 lira per tonne ($347.41). Sunn pest problems were common in Batman, Diyarbakir and Suruc. Due to power grid infrastructure problems and frequent power cuts, some farmers complained that they could not irrigate their fields because they didn’t have a reliable supply of power for pumps during the drought season.

Turkey imported about 3.7 million tonnes of wheat during the first 11 months of market year 2015-16. It also imported about 240,000 tonnes of durum wheat during the same period. 

For market year 2016-17, wheat imports are forecast at 4.75 million tonnes due to strong demand for high quality wheat from flour and pasta exporters. African counties were the main export destinations for Turkish pasta exporters.

Wheat product exports reached a historic high in market year 2015-16. Turkey exported about 3.26 million tonnes of wheat flour and 700,000 tonnes of pasta in market year 2015-16. According to market sources, pasta producers have already signed contracts for the import of 300,000 tonnes of durum wheat for market year 2016-17. Turkey is continuing to invest in milling and pasta facilities with new technologies. 

The wheat bran price was 550 lira per tonne on June 20, up 44% from a year before.