Grains - Grain Products

Bulgur: Turkey to profit from India’s export ban on rice

October 11, 2023 at 11:02 AM , Der AUDITOR
Play report as audio

ISTANBUL. India’s ban on non-basmati rice exports, which became effective on 20 July 2023, has not only driven up global rice prices but has also turned bulgur into a highly attractive alternative. Although this will play into the hands of Turkey as leading exporter, shipments are not quite up to scratch this year.

Exports not up to scratch

As Turkish Food Exporters (TGİ) and the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) highlight Turkey’s local rice production meets nearly 70% of consumption meaning that the country is not quite as badly affected by the recent price rises. Drought in Asia coupled with India’s export ban prompted global rice prices to reach their highest in fifteen years. Aim is to promote Turkish bulgur as attractive alternative.

Changing consumer lifestyles and rising demand for organic food have prompted the bulgur market to grow in recent years. Turkey is a leading producer of the processed food with annual output ranging at 1.24 million mt, of which 22% are exported. Average exports range at 250,000 mt per year as Turkey is in a strategically good location in the Middle East. Advantage is also that bulgur is more nutritious than white rice and couscous as it contains more fibres, vitamins and mineral and has a lower glycemic index of 46, whereas white rice has 73 and couscous 72.

Yet, Turkey not even exported 158,000 mt of bulgur between January and September. The export value only stands at USD 98 million. Exports ranged at a much higher 180,000 mt worth almost USD 108 million in the same period last year. At USD 0.62/kg average export prices are, however, on par with last year. In 2021, average prices ranged at a much lower USD 0.50/kg. The prices for fine bulgur have recently declined to USD 7.00/kg FOB Turkey.

Bulgur exports, Turkey















TİM (Turkish Exporters Assembly)

Grains, pulses and oilseeds as valuable source of income

While bulgur is taking the lead, Turkey is also keen to promote a whole range of other food products. TGİ recently stated that food product exports increased by 12% in the first nine months of the year to USD 9.2 billion. Monthly exports of cereals, pulses and oilseeds were also 21% up in September as compared with September 2022. Iraq, Italy and the USA are the most important export destinations for this sector.

View related articles

Go to the News Overview
Grain Products
Dec 21, 2023
ISTANBUL/BRUSSELS. EU importers heavily rely on Turkey for bulgur. Exports are going well for Turkey.
Grain Products
Oct 25, 2022
GAZIANTEP. Bulgur exports from Turkey are developing positively year-on-year. Market players are confident that the lifting of export quotas on products such as bulgur will also boost trade again.
Grain Products
Sep 21, 2022
GAZIANTEP. Exporters have successfully campaigned for the suspension of the export quota for bulgur in Turkey. They are also quite satisfied with the export performance in August.