No supply shortages of grains are expected due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, two countries that supply a substantial amount of Turkey’s grain imports, the country’s agriculture ministry said.
Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine as of Thursday has raised the prospect of tighter supplies in commodities, due to the possibility of additional sanctions on Russian exports, transport disruptions and Moscow withholding supplies.
Russia and Ukraine together account for 29% of global wheat exports, 80% of sunflower oil exports and 19% of world corn exports.
The price of wheat jumped to a 9 1/2 year high on Tuesday, and that of corn to an eight-month peak.
Russia accounted for 56% of Turkey’s grains imports in 2021 at $2.24 billion, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) show, and those from Russia and Ukraine combined made up 78%.
The grains imports from Ukraine totaled $861 million last year.
The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry said on Thursday no supply shortages were expected in wheat, other grains and raw materials until the next harvest season given the current supplies in storage.
“No matter how much weight Russia and Ukraine have obtained in our grains supplies in recent years, grain supplies are available from other exporter countries and origins in international trade,” it said.
“Together with positive expectations for grains production in 2022, our country does not foresee a problem in food supply,” the ministry added.
However, analysts have said Turkey could see further inflationary pressure from rising commodity prices, including oil, natural gas and grains.
Annual inflation in Turkey rose to nearly 50% in January, mainly due to a currency slide at the end of 2021, which saw the lira end the year down 44% against the United States dollar. Food prices also soared last year partly due to drought.
Rising commodity prices, including wheat prices, are “obviously going to have negative implications for inflation in Turkey,” said Piotr Matys, senior FX analyst at In Touch Capital Markets.
Food producers “will shift some of the increase in energy prices into their products. So Turkey is facing a prolonged period of high inflation,” he said.