Turkey Agribusiness Report Q3 2010
by ReportLinker.com on Dec 13, 2010
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In BMI's Turkey Agribusiness Report for Q2 2010, we take a closer look at the problems facing the country's livestock sector. Despite strong growth for most of the the past decade, beef consumption ...
In BMI's Turkey Agribusiness Report for Q2 2010, we take a closer look at the problems facing the country's livestock sector. Despite strong growth for most of the the past decade, beef consumption has stagnated. Per capita consumption remains very low by Western standards. While a change in tastes and increasing interest in healthy eating may partly explain the sluggish growth, the main factor is limited supply and high prices. Turkey has an extremely restrictive import policy on meat and live animals. This combined with only slow growth in domestic production keeps meat prices high and limits production growth. Though progress has been made in the past couple of decades, Turkey's livestock sector is still on the whole very undeveloped. Turkey has very few specialist livestock farms. The vast majority of cattle are raised on mixed farms. These farms, particularly in the less developed East and South Eats of the country, tend to have only a few animals which are grazed on common pasture land. Over the past decade, though there has been a fall in the total national cattle herd, beef production has been held up by a large increase in slaughter weight. This has been driven largely by the development of specialist cattle ranches mainly in the west of the country. The government has been promoting the development of a stronger livestock sector with measures such as subsidies to producers, controlled feed prices and zero duty on imports of breeding stock. In the longer term, if Turkey proceeds with EU integration, more work will be needed in improving the efficiency of the livestock sector. Even without the EU, as demand for meat rises keeping prices high, calls for increased imports are bound to increase. This should be seen as an opportunity for local producers to improve their competitiveness. If this can be achieved, there are many opportunities for exporting in the region, particularly to the rich Gulf states. While beef production has been stagnating, poultry production has been expanding rapidly. From 1998 to 2008, poultry production more than doubled driven by strong demand for meat. The large jump in production has been achieved through the development of large, modern broiler farms. Though the medium-term outlook still looks bright for Turkey's poultry sector, at the moment producers are suffering. High feed costs over the past few years combined with the economic slowdown since 2008 have squeezed already tight profit margins and many major producers are now in the red. Still, beyond the current problems, we expect strong growth in production to continue as demand rises both at home and in Turkey's Middle Eastern neighbours. Turkey's grain production returned to health in 2009 following two years of reduced production caused by poor rains. In 2009, production of wheat and barley, Turkey's major grain crops, grew strongly. Despite the improvement, problems remain for Turkey's grain sector. While some large, efficient farms do exist, much of Turkish cereal production is hampered by small plot sizes and low and inefficient use of inputs. Average farm size at little more than five hectares is small compared to developed countries. Grain production has been maintained by strong government support for producers. Price supports for grain have also hurt consumers, who are left paying more for food, and other sectors reliant on grain such as livestock producers. The support has also worked against the development of more efficient farms. Plans to strengthen the sector are underway, but political will to push through with needed reforms is often lacking.
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