Will Turkey’s Sunseed Oil Imports Increase, Despite 2022 Forecasts?


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Sunseed Oil Is the Main Edible Oil in Turkey’s Domestic Consumption Mix

Sunseed Oil is the main Edible Oil consumed in Turkey. The domestic consumption volume increased by 160 kmt between 2018 & 2022. Meanwhile, Soybean Oil and Rapeseed Oil domestic consumption remain marginal. Sunseed Oil domestic usage in Turkey grew over the past four years while the consumption of other Edible Oils dropped. For instance, Soybean Oil consumption decreased by 97 kmt between 18/19 & 21/22. However, this trend tends to change for the marketing year 22/23. Based on the USDA estimations, Sunseed Oil consumption will decrease for the first time in over four years by 75 kmt YoY. Meanwhile, total consumption of Soybean and Rapeseed Oils will rise slightly by 25 kmt YoY.

Figure 1: Sunseed Oils Represents the Main Edible Oil Used for Domestic Consumption in Turkey Between 2018 & 2023

Rapeseed, Soybean, and Sunseed Oils Domestic Consumption in Turkey Between 2018 & 2023

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Is Turkey’s Sunseed Oil Production Sufficient for the Domestic Market?

Ukraine and Russia are the primary producers of Sunseed Oil and the leading suppliers of the Turkish market. However, the Ukraine / Russia conflict affected the flow of many commodities. Therefore, Turkey increased Sunseed Oil production by 196 kmt YoY.  Reaching 1.12 Mmt in MY 2022/2023, the highest volume produced in the past five years. This increase means that Turkey can cover almost its entire domestic consumption needs, and only 60 kmt of extra Sunseed Oil is needed to supply the market. Nevertheless, Turkey exports on average more than 642 kmt of its production, which explains why imports are higher than expected. 

Figure 2 : Turkey Sunseed Oil Production Between 2018 & 2023

Sunseed Oil Production Volumes in Turkey Between 2018 & 2023 in Mmt

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Will 2022 Be an Exception for Turkey’s Dependency on Sunseed Oil Imports?

Turkey’s Sunseed Oil domestic production reached high volumes in MY 22/23. In addition, monthly Sunseed Oil imports are lower than in the past two years. In 2021, Turkey’s Sunseed Oil imports peaked at 405 kmt in Feb, while in 2022, the maximum of imports so far was 120 kmt, also in Feb. So far, in 2022, the increased Sunseed Oil production, in addition to the interruption of commodity flow due to the Ukraine/Russia war led to lower import volumes. Moreover, USDA estimates expect imports to decrease by 450 kmt in 22/23 YoY. Yet, Sep 2022 imports exceeded 2021 imports by nearly 79 kmt YoY. Besides, unexpectedly, Turkey increased import duties in Sep 2022, raising the question of whether it would close this year with import volumes below that in the past four years.

Figure 3: 2022,21,20 Turkey Sunseed Oil Monthly Imports Jan & Sep

Turkey Sunseed Oil Imports Between January and September from 2020 to 2022

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Will Bulgaria Increase Its Share in Turkey’s Sunseed Oil Market?

Turkey imported 471 kmt of Sunseed Oil from Russia between Jan & Sep 2022 and 173 kmt from Ukraine and Bulgaria. Bulgaria exports to Turkey are seasonal and peaked at 9265 t in Mai 2020. In contrast, Russia’s Sunseed Oil exports to Turkey are monthly and dropped to a minimum of 5250 mt in Sep 21 over the past three years. Russia is historically a leader in the Sunseed Oil market, its production increased by 0.7 Mmt in 21/22 YoY. Exports slightly declined by 50 kmt YoY. Yet the USDA estimates Russian exports will increase by 400 kmt in 22/23 YoY. However, Bulgaria’s Sunseed Oil exports to Turkey reached 12 kmt in Sep 22, representing almost the same Russian supply in the same month.

Figure 4: Russia, Ukraine, & Bulgaria Sunseed Oil  Exports to Turkey Between Jan & Sep 22

Turkey Sunseed Oil Imports From Russia, Ukraine & Bulgaria Imports Between Jan & Sep 22

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In a Nutshell

Sunseed Oil is an essential commodity in the Turkish diet and industry. Other types of Edible Oils consumption are relatively minor.  Moreover, Turkey produces high volumes to supply its market, and Soybean Oil & Rapeseed Oil production and consumption remain low.  Moreover, Soybean Oil production is primarily for export purposes.

The flow of Sunseed Oil, like the rest of the commodities, was interrupted by the 22 war in Ukraine. Additionally, Russia limited Sunseed Oil Exports at the beginning of this year with quotas. Nonetheless, Turkey’s domestic production reached its highest volumes in the past five years and led to a decrease in Turkey’s Sunseed Oil imports, thus lowering the impact of the war on the Turkish Sunseed Oil market. This is in concordance with USDA estimates expected for 22 Sunseed Oil imports. However, in Sep 22, Turkey increased its Sunseed Oil imports drastically, contradicting estimates, notably by sourcing from Bulgaria which reached its highest export volume to Turkey for the first time in the same period.

Bulgaria Exports Sunseed Oil mainly to Spain, the Netherlands, and South Africa. However, its production is minimal compared to Russia, Ukraine and Turkey,  and its export volumes remain modest. The extra Sunseed Oil exported to Turkey in Sep 22 might represent a seasonal exception and not part of the main supply. Finally, the Turkey Sunseed Oil imports growth potential remains an open question, as this month, import duties raised to 10%, limiting the incentive to import Sunseed Oil in the country.