Turkiye’s grain import tariffs go from 0-130%

Turkiye has imposed import tariffs of 130% on certain grains, which will take effect from 1 May to coincide with the country’s harvest period.

New tariffs will raise Turkiye’s import duties on wheat, corn and barley from zero to 130%.

The plan was announced as a Decisions of the President on the Amendment of the Import Regime Decision, released on the country’s Official Gazette site.

The change in import duties follows similar actions last week, when two EU countries Poland and Hungary – banned the importing of grains from Ukraine.

While some traders believe Turkiye’s actions are retaliatory, Reuters has reported some traders believe the duty is intended to support Turkiye’s own agriculture sector ahead of upcoming elections in May.

The country’s elections are a cause of concern as opinion polls suggest President Erdogan may lose his position after ruling for 20 years, with potential impacts on trade and economic stability.

Meanwhile, the Russia-Ukraine conflict is still affecting global grains trade.

When Russia’s invasion closed Ukraine off from transporting grains and oil seeds via the Black Sea, the country turned to overland routes via Eastern European countries.

Import tariffs were relaxed to accommodate this, including in Turkiye where they were reduced to zero up to 30 April.

Poland’s border with Ukraine made it a prime transport route and as such it has become one of the biggest grains importers. Recently, it has become one of the biggest complainants against this arrangement.

Overland transportation of cheap goods has lowered prices and sales for farmers in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria. Prime Ministers of all five countries wrote a joint letter to the European Commission to complain and call for action to manage the “influx”.

Following the letter, the leaders of Poland and Hungary announced official bans on grains imports from Ukraine, as well as some dairy products, sugar, fruit, vegetables and meats. Slovakia later joined to enforce its own goods bans.

The European Commission deemed the action “unacceptable”.

A spokesperson said in a statement: “In such challenging times, it is crucial to coordinate and align all decisions within the EU.”

The Ukraine Agriculture Ministry said it plans to respond to the complaints and has been holding talks towards a solution.

In a statement it said: “At present, unilateral drastic actions will not accelerate the positive resolution of the situation.”

Currently, the Commission is investigating data on import levels from Ukraine to Eastern European countries to assess how it can support grains trade and farmers.



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