State’s price intervention irks Turkish meat sector

State’s price intervention irks Turkish meat sector

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
State’s price intervention irks Turkish meat sector

The General Directorate of the Meat and Dairy Institute has taken measures and says it is ready to take more in order to keep meat prices under control. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Turkey’s meat regulator has taken steps to halt rising prices, but the move is drawing a reaction from sector representatives, who say the move is destined to only be a short-term and temporary solution.

The Agriculture and Livestock Ministry is monitoring meat prices in many provinces, the General
Directorate of the Meat and Dairy Institute (ESK) General Manager İsmail Kemaloğlu said in a recent interview with daily Dünya. The meat price per kilogram recently rose from 14 Turkish Liras at the beginning of July to 15.75 liras.

The ESK has taken some measures in order to provide meat at threshold prices to consumers. The institute will pay stockbreeders an early slaughter premium, as well as the difference in transport costs, while also paying 50 percent of the purchase pricing, Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.
The ESK will pay 15.60 Turkish Liras per kilogram to stockbreeders whose animals are slaughtered by the institute by Oct. 15.

The ESK head said that if prices rose, they could sell their stock of 5,000 tons of frozen meat to retailers. “We will do what is necessary to ease the [Turkish] markets. If they don’t work out, we will use our power in international markets.”

Intervention not a long-term solution

The ESK’s intervention in meat prices will not be successful in the long term, National Red Meat Council President Ahmet Yücesan told Anadolu yesterday, adding that the concerns about meat imports would prevent a price rise and ensure stability in prices.

Turkey should produce its own meat instead of resorting to imports, he said. “The stockbreeders asked for an average meat price of 16 liras due to drought last year. The Agriculture Ministry stated that if the prices surpass it, the ESK would introduce meat in stock to the markets and pay a premium for early slaughter and that if they did not resolve the problem, the institute could import meat. The first two measures will be applied in a short time, but around 80,000 tons of red meat is being processed in Turkey a month. The intervention of the ESK will be only psychological but the fear about imports will hamper a rise in prices and provide stability.”

The ESK general manager, however, said meat imports were not on their agenda.

Turkish Beef and Lamb Producers Association (TÜKETBİR) President Bülent Tunç said the ESK’s intervention in meat prices by introducing meat into the markets would ease the markets for a short time, adding that they could take measures through production, according to a report from Cihan News Agency on Aug. 12.

“Our basic problem is that we don’t have calves in our country. When the entrepreneurs sell their meat, they don’t introduce new ones to the markets because they don’t have any to substitute. As a result, the prices rise,” he said.

Turkish Butchers Federation President Fazıl Yalçındağ said the stockbreeders’ cost should be offset but that there was no reason to raise meat prices, Dünya reported. The ESK’s entrance into the market is an alternative solution, but it cannot resolve the problem, he said. “The ESK’s duty is only to determine the price range and adjust it. The institution should work to resolve structural problems,” he said.

213 tons meat produced in Q2

ANKARA- Hürriyet Daily News

Red meat production totaled around 212.8 tons in the second quarter of 2013, according to figures revealed by the state-run statistic body TÜİK yesterday.

Red meat production increased by 16.3 percent in the second quarter.

While cattle meat production rose to 187.6 tons, good for a 17.7 percent increase in the same period, sheep meat production reached 22 tons, a 9.2 percent increase.