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Bulgur: Turkey keen to gain market shares

June 8, 2022 at 4:43 PM, Der AUDITOR
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GAZIANTEP. As Turkey is the leading producer for bulgur and demand has risen steadily in recent years, the prospects for the export market are excellent. With the world desperately looking for ways for wheat to be shipped from Ukraine to prevent a hunger crisis in poorer countries and India imposing an export ban for wheat bulgur has certainly gained additional attention.

Exceptional circumstances for wheat

The International Grains Council (IGC) recently estimated global wheat production for 2021/2022 at 781 million mt, which is 7 million mt up on 2020/2021 and consumption at 778 million mt, which is 7 million mt up on last year. Trouble is, however, not only that Russia is preventing wheat to be shipped from Ukraine but also that India has imposed an export ban to secure domestic supplies after a heatwave in March caused extensive damage and inflation is soaring. Russia and Ukraine, in fact, supply more than 25% of the world's wheat and the brutal war is threating to confront millions of people around the world with hunger, especially in countries largely dependend on imports.

Prospects are, by contrast, more encouraging in Turkey, where wheat production should range at 20 million mt this year and hopes have shifted from India to the country at the Black Sea Coast. This also has implications for bulgur, which is one of the oldest foods made from wheat in Anatolia. Advantage is that this food contains many valuable minerals and vitamins and demand is on the rise. Several countries such as the United States, Canada and France have been heavily investing in production since around 2010 and play a leading role in the export market. Turkey has, however, remained the production centre for bulgur, which is generated in strict accordance with the "Bulgur Communique" issued by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.

Exports climbed steadily until 2020. While Turkey exported 212,000 mt of bulgur in 2014, this figure hit 282,486 mt in 2020 before declining to 238,139 mt in 2021. Exports ranged at 83,142 mt in January to March this year. Average export prices have also declined from USD 1.98/kg in 2021 to USD 1.80/kg in 2022. Gaziantep supplies more than half of the volumes exported and accounts for 50% of annual production in Turkey, which ranges at 1.200 million mt.

Bulgur exports, Turkey

Year

mt

2018 

262,094 

2019 

262,615 

2020 

282,486 

2021 

238,139 

2022* 

83,142 

Trade sources, *Jan-Mar

 

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