ECONOMY

Turkey takes helm of $55B wheat market

Turkey's trade group for flour producers is taking the Eurasian helm of an international millers' association, it announced yesterday.

By taking administration of the Eurasia region for the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM), the Turkish Flour Industrialists' Federation (TFIF) took responsibility for $55 billion of the total world wheat market, estimated at $180 billion, and $2.5 billion of all flour trade in the world ($5 billion), said Günhan Ulusoy, head of the TFIF.

"The Eurasia region became the most important region in recent years in wheat production and the flour trade," he told a press conference in Istanbul.

IAOM's Eurasia region represents 30 percent of the world's wheat production, approximately737 million tons, and over half of the flour trade in the world, with 32 countries whose total GDP is $7.1 trillion and a population of around 2 billion.

Ulusoy stressed that the region includes some of the world's largest wheat-producing countries such as Russia (71.6 million tons), Ukraine (25 million tons), Turkey (19 million tons) and Kazakhstan (16 million tons). "Turkey succeeded in this area thanks to government support," he said.

He added that 12,000-year-old wheat - perhaps the world's first - has its origins at the famed ancient site of Göbeklitepe in Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa.

The IAOM, founded in 1896, represents around 70 countries worldwide and focuses on improving profitability and efficiency in the milling and wheat sectors. The TFIF, founded in 2005, represents 90 percent of the Turkish flour sector and has over 400 members in Turkey.

Turkey has been the world's top flour exporter for the last six years, and it hopes to export flour to over 100 countries. It is also in the world top 10 for wheat production, at 19 million tons.

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