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Demands for high-quality wheat in Turkey leads to upward import revision

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Turkish wheat import forecasts have been raised by 27% for 2019-20 by scouts of the US Department of Agriculture amid demands for high quality crops.

The USDA’s Ankara bureau expects the country to bring in 7m tonnes of the crop, an increase on the official June estimate of 5.5m tonnes - and up from 6.4m tonnes in 2018-19.

At the same time, "unexpectedly" dry weather in the country between April and June has led to the attache to reduce the official production forecast for the 2019-20 season from 21m tonnes to 17.8m tonnes.

The report said the import level was due to "stable" demand for high quality wheat from producers and domestic consumers "after a tougher harvest than expected."

An attache report said the weather had affected yield and quality, especially in the southeast, Central Anatolia and Cukurova regions of Turkey.

Although production is expected to increase in Thrace, the report noted this is unlikely to be "sufficient to compensate for losses in other regions."

Wheat planting for the 2019-20 season is also expected to fall by 5% to 7.24m hectares, largely as a result of competition from alternative crops, greenhouse development and increased vegetable production.

The USDA said Turkey’s average rainfall between October last year and June this year had been 19% lower than the long-term average, at 616.6 millimetres.

However, the month of May this year was the second driest in the last 20 years in terms of rainfall.

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