Turkish Grain Board stocks 6 million tons of grain

Turkish Grain Board stocks 6 million tons of grain

The Turkish Grain Board (TMO) bought a record amount of over 5 million tons of wheat and over 1 million tons of barley this year, after the global food security rush due to both the pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia war.

“We have stocked the grain in our own silos, in contracted licensed warehouses, and we stocked them up in the form of open heaps where warehouses were not sufficient,” TMO General Manager Ahmet Güldal told daily Hürriyet.

“We wanted to keep reserve stocks strong due to extraordinary situations and circumstances,” he added.

“The duty of the state is to be cautious, and we are doing our duty to ensure this. Plans were also made for wheat, and the schedule is carried out according to our needs, taking into account the ports and domestic and foreign market conditions.”

Güldal stated that Türkiye has a licensed warehouse capacity of 8.6 million tons and TMO has a storage capacity of 4.2 million tons.

“But we don’t just buy barley and wheat, we also buy legumes, chickpeas, lentils and beans,” he said.

“Our product purchases are largely completed. Currently, corn, hazelnut and paddy purchases continue. Producer satisfaction is at its peak this year.”

Meanwhile, the TMO has launched a tender to import 500,000 tons of barley, stirring reactions.

“In a year when a record will be broken in barley yield, when there is a 50 percent increase in production compared to last year and the yield has increased to 8 million tons, then why is only 1 million tons of barley being bought from our farmers and 500,000 tons of barley are being imported?” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Levent Gök asked in a written questionnaire he submitted to parliament to be addressed to Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirişçi.

Özkan Taşpınar, president of the National Grain Council, told Hürriyet that Türkiye’s barley production will be around 8.1 million tons this year, while its need is 8.5 million tons.

“I think the TMO decided to import to complete the consumption amount,” he said.

“Corn, barley and fodder wheat can be substituted for each other as animal feed. The TMO acts in line with all these needs. The fact that there is an import does not mean that the barley in the hands of the producer will become cheaper because the prices have already settled.”

Taşpınar added that the TMO has already increased its purchases from local producers.

“While the TMO bought 2 to 2.5 million tons of wheat in the past years, this year its purchases exceeded 5 million tons. Likewise, it bought around 1.2 million tons of barley instead of 500,000,” he said.

“We estimate that they have made high purchases this year due to possible price increases, maintaining flour and feed support considering possible war conditions until the new harvest.”