The Turkish government has lifted restrictions on agricultural exports, including sunflower oil, red meat, tomatoes and some pulses, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported.

Export bans had been imposed last year by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry (MinAF) on select agricultural items in a bid to control rising food inflation, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) 14 March report said.

In a separate report, the USDA said it expected Turkey’s total production of oilseeds – including cottonseed, soyabean and sunflowerseed – to fall 17% to nearly 3M tonnes in the 2023/2024 marketing year compared to the previous year due to pre-earthquake market dynamics.

The country also produces small volumes of canola and, as with the other major oilseeds, canola production was forecast to contract, according to the report.

“The threat of a serious drought could further depress production, while the fallout from the recent earthquakes is expected to have a very minor impact on overall oilseed production and processing,” the USDA said.

The forecast decrease in oilseed production would be partially offset by increased imports of soyabeans, sunflower meal and sunflowerseeds.

Meanwhile, as part of its bid to control inflation, the Turkish government had cut import duties on most meals, oils and oilseeds, the report said.

From September-December of the 2022/23 marketing year, imports of Ukrainian sunflower oil and sunflowerseeds had surged.