Turkey limits export of flour to stabilize the bread prices

In the wake of price hike in the flour price in recent weeks, two important measures were taken in a bid to stabilize prices in the market. The Turkish Grain Board has opened the doors of wheat storages with fixed price until the end of October while the Ministry of Trade limited the export of flour except for that of inward processing.

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The Turkish Grain Board (TMO) took action following the price hike in the domestic wheat market because of volatile foreign exchange and price of wheat in foreign markets. In a bid to stabilize the wheat markets, TMO has opened the doors of wheat storage. “By taking into account of the price hike at the beginning of August, TMO began sales as of August, 9 2018, and the sales price will be fixed until the end of October,” the board said in a statement. Within this scope, the price of durum wheat is set as 1,160 Turkish liras per ton while the price of common wheat is set as 1,100 Turkish liras per ton.
The board has 3.5 million tons of wheat in total while 2.3 million tons of this stock was purchased by TMO in the 2018 harvest period. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), the total production of wheat will be around 21 million tons in 2018, meaning 2 percent decrease compared the previous year. Turkish Grain Board said the consumption of wheat is around 19 million tons and this consumption is met by the domestic production. “However, it has been observed a price hike in the domestic market because of the speculative rise of the foreign exchange and foreign markets as well as a loss of quality that happened due to the climate conditions in some regions during the harvest period. TMO monitors closely the domestic and foreign grain markets and will continue domestic sales uninterrupted by reinforcing stocks. By taking into account of TMO stocks, there is no need to worry over the wheat supply across the country,” TMO said.
After Turkish Grain Board, the Ministry of Trade has taken another step in order to stabilize the domestic market. The ministry took a temporary step in the flour exports. It limited the flour exports expert for the inward processing because of “the fluctuation in the domestic flour price recently.” The ministry said, “The percentage of the flour export which is limited is nearly one percent of Turkey’s total flour exports. The basic aim of this regulation is to stabilize the domestic flour price and to protect consumers and to prevent speculation.” Turkey is the champion of flour exports in the world, and, according to the latest figures, Turkey exports 350 thousand tons of flour per month.

“THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH FLOUR SUPPLY”
Günhan Eren Ulusoy, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of TUSAF, denied claims that it became more difficult to find flour in the market and the price of a bag of flour has climbed to 175 Turkish liras while it was 95 Turkish liras in the previous month. Ulusoy named these claims as “speculative” and “perception operation.” Speaking to 24 TV, Ulusoy said that there has been a mobilization in the domestic market because of the harvest of quality wheat in Turkey and the price hike of wheat in the world markets. He noted that claims appeared in press are not accurate. Saying that members of TUSAF are ready to sell a bag of flour for 95 Turkish liras during September, Ulusoy said, “There is no problem with the supply of flour. We do not accept the claim ‘there is no flour.’ The price of wheat has increased, according to its quality, by 20-30 percent when compared to the previous year. The flour price is affected accordingly. However, there is no case like, ‘the price is doubled.’ People should not be worried. Nobody should allow opportunism.”

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