WASHINGTON - Mar 15/17 - SNS -- Turkey temporarily dropped its 19.3% import duty on chickpeas in an effort to tame domestic price inflation for the commodity.
The U.S. agricultural attache for the country imports will be allowed to enter the country duty free until July 1 of this year.
Turkish chickpea production ranges between 400,000 and 500,000 metric tons (MT) per year, the U.S. agricultural attache reports, with imports ranging between 30,000 and 40,000.
Turkey also exports roughly 20,000 MT of chickpeas mostly to Middle Eastern and European countries annually. An estimated 200,000 MT are also transshipped through Turkey each year.
Local press reports that high chickpeas prices in domestic market, which have doubled in a year, forced the government to reduce the import duty. Low yields, increasing international prices, depreciation of the Turkish Lira are some reasons behind the high prices.
According to the Turkish State Institute of Statistics, chickpea prices rose more than any other agricultural product in 2016. The price received by farmers for chickpeas was 3.68 TL in 2016, up to 59% from the previous year.
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