ISTANBUL, TURKEY – Turkey’s oilseed production is expected to rise 4% in 2018-19 to 3.06 million tonnes as good returns on cotton and sunflowerseeds are affecting farmers’ planting decisions, according to a March 14 Global Agricultural Information Network report for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cottonseed production is expected to rise by 8% and sunflowerseed by 2%, while soybean output is expected to remain steady.

The report notes, however, that the country continues to be dependent on imports due to a net deficit of oilseed and protein for animal feed.

Total imports of soybeans and soybean meal are expected to reach 3.2 million tonnes in 2017-18.

In the medium and long term, rising household incomes will increase the demand for livestock, poultry and aquaculture, the report said, ensuring continued demand for feed. Consumers will also demand higher-quality vegetable oils.

“The government of Turkey continues to support oilseed production and also has ambitious irrigation projects throughout Turkey that will help them meet a larger portion of the demand for some of the oilseeds, such as sunflower seed and cottonseed,” the USDA noted. “But demand for imported soybeans and meal is unlikely to be met by local production. Therefore, Turkey’s demand for imported oilseeds, meal and oils will remain for years to come.”

According to industry sources, 2017 compound feed production was 22.4 million tonnes, up about 10% compared to the prior year. While poultry feed production was up about 7% to 8.9 million tonnes, livestock feed output was up 12% to 12.9 million tonnes, and other feed was up 11% to 600,000 tonnes.