paddy rice
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The government of Turkey at the end of December implemented temporary tariff reductions on rice, a move designed to tackle food price inflation and spark interest in imports, according to a Jan. 23 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The tariff on paddy rice was reduced to 5% from 34%, while the tariff on brown rice was reduced to 10% from 36% and the tariff on milled rice was reduced to 15% from 45%, according to the USDA. The new tariff rates were put in place on Dec. 31, 2017, and will remain in place until July 1, 2018.

Additionally, the government of Turkey eliminated the tariff rate for barley (previously it was 35%) until April 1, 2018, and also temporarily eliminated tariffs for chickpeas, certain beans, and cowpeas.

The USDA noted in the report that the announcement by the government of Turkey regarding tariff reductions to fight food inflation caused “varying domestic reactions.”

“According to rice importers in Turkey, tariff reductions can be a good opportunity to bring in rice at an attractive cost,” the USDA said. “This can prevent increases in prices for consumers in Turkey. However, a long-standing phytosanitary restriction related to the government of Turkey’s designation of the white tip nematode as a quarantine pest limits rice trade and increases risks for importers. Additionally, domestic paddy rice producers are concerned about the potential for imports of low-quality rice, and they specifically mention rice from China as a concern. They claim that it is from old crops and are concerned that low quality medium grain rice is posing a risk for domestic production. Consumption is decreasing due to low quality imported rice impacting the reputation of rice in general.”

The USDA said Turkey’s rice import forecast for 2017-18 has been raised to 350,000 tonnes, up from an earlier forecast of 320,000 tonnes and compared with 300,000 tonnes in 2016-17 and 275,000 tonnes in 2015-16.

Custom tariffs for wheat and corn were unchanged at 45% and 25%, respectively, the USDA said.