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Turkey’s Wheat Crop Seen Declining 11% After Dry April by UN

Turkey’s wheat crop, the Middle East’s biggest, is estimated to have slid 11 percent after a cold March and below-average rain in April, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization reported.

Harvesting has just finished, and production probably dropped to 19.5 million metric tons from 21.8 million tons last year, the Rome-based FAO wrote in an online country report dated Aug. 9.

Wheat gained 21 percent in Chicago trading in the past year as droughts in the U.S. and Russia damaged crops, reducing grain supplies. Turkey exported 3.3 million tons of wheat in the 2011-12 season, accounting for 2.3 percent of world trade in the cereal, according to the International Grains Council.

“Turkey remains one of the leading exporters of wheat flour in the world,” the FAO wrote. “Some 70 percent of flour exports are destined to Iraq and Indonesia, a fact that is inducing exporters to look for new export destinations.”

Barley production is estimated at about 7 million tons, falling 7 percent from last year.

“Earlier forecasts were rather optimistic,” the FAO wrote. “Estimates indicate an average level of production.”

Grain imports are expected to exceed exports in the year through June, with purchases of 3.84 million tons compared with outbound shipments of 3.47 million tons. That’s a reversal from 2011-12, when Turkey exported more grain than it imported.

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