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Turkey Board Sees No Wheat Imports This Year

Turkey’s state grain board TMO does not expect to import wheat or barley this year, but will export half a million tonnes before the start of the next harvest season in June.

TMO chairman Mesut Kose told Reuters in an interview on March 23 that the board has already exported 2.3 million tonnes of grain in the current season that started in June 2009.

The TMO would halt its export tender in April or May, before the start of the new harvest season in June, Kose said.

Turkey, which is generally self-sufficient in food and a major cereal exporter, suf fered a drought in 2007-08 that prompted grain imports, although improved production last year meant it needed no imported grain for local consumption.

The Turkish Statistics Institute said wheat production in 2009 was reckoned to have risen to 20.6 million tonnes, up from 17.8 million tonnes in the previous year.

The institute said in its latest report of agriculture production that barley output was estimated to have risen 23.2 per cent year on year at 7.3 million tonnes.

“Our country produces more than the amount of wheat it needs other than in drought years and exports the surplus produce either in the form of raw materials or finished goods,” Kose said.

Rainfall is above the average this year and the volume of fertilizers and certified seeds are higher from the previous year, Kose said.

“It is predicted that wheat and barley production would somewhat increase in 2010,” Kose said.

An improved crop this year means Turkey has returned to the global market as an exporter and the TMO has just issued an international tender for March 31.

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