Pulse weekly outlook: Turkey may see larger red lentil crop

MarketsFarm — Turkey is expecting to see an increase in lentil production in 2020, according to a processor in the country.

White bean production is also expected to rise, although chickpea production could be down slightly on the year.

Fethi Sonmez, CEO of Turkey-based Armada Foods, expects to see red lentil production in the country increase by about 30 per cent in 2020, hitting 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes.

In an online interview with the Global Pulse Confederation, Sonmez described the developing crop as “so far, so good.”

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He noted Turkey consumes roughly 200,000 tonnes of red lentils domestically on an annual basis, but is also a major exporter. The country typically imports from Canada and other countries, processes the lentils, then resells into other Middle Eastern, African and European markets.

Canada has exported 213,000 tonnes of lentils to Turkey during the 2019-20 crop-year-to-date, according to the Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database. That makes Turkey second only to India in total sales this year.

The sales to Turkey are running well ahead of the previous year’s pace, when only 75,200 tonnes of Canadian lentils had shipped to Turkey to date.

Total Canadian lentil exports of 1.27 million tonnes during the first seven months of the 2019-20 crop year are down only slightly from the 1.2 million exported during the previous year.

When asked about potential disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sonmez noted increased demand was having a bullish influence on prices in Turkey. “If you are sitting on stocks, you are making money,” he said.

At the same time, he noted, logistical issues were a problem and could impact both imports and re-exports.

Sonmez forecast a slight increase in white bean production in Turkey, at 150,000-170,000 tonnes.

However, the country’s chickpea crop may be down on the year, due to large carryout supplies, at about 300,000 tonnes.

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