Turkish gov’t allows meat imports against ‘speculative moves hiking prices’

Turkish gov’t allows meat imports against ‘speculative moves hiking prices’

Turkish gov’t allows meat imports against ‘speculative moves hiking prices’

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The cabinet has signed a decision allowing more meat to be imported in order to block speculative moves that are hiking prices, Agriculture Minister Faruk Çelik said on Feb. 2. 

“It is possible for us to import meat if necessary against any speculative moves that have been hiking prices. We don’t want to have to import more meat, but the new rule will give us this authority. The related decision was signed by the cabinet yesterday,” Çelik told reporters. 

He said the decision would go into effect “very soon,” with Ankara aiming to support the sector in the medium and long terms in order to combat rising prices. 

According to data from the Central Bank, meat prices rose by 21 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year, making meat one of the most important items pushing up the annual inflation rate. Turkey’s inflation rate increased to 8.81 percent in 2015. 

Turkey already imports an average of 20,000 tons of meat per year, Economy Minister Mustafa Elitaş said last week. 

“Our colleagues are working on the issue. We’ll give new permits for meat imports in order to maintain meat prices and to overcome consumers’ losses,” Elitaş said in a meeting on Jan. 27. 

Turkey has promised to import up to 15,000 tons of meat from Bosnia Herzegovina, he also noted. 

“[Bosnia Herzegovina] produces around 9,000 tons of [meat]. We’ll import around 6,500 tons of meat this year and next year. We hope this will help to eliminate the negative effects of seasonality in the upcoming three months,” Elitaş said. 

Meanwhile, Çelik also stated that the cabinet has asked for the reconsideration of bread prices across Turkey. 

“Our talks with the Bakeries Federation will continue. They have some sensible demands that will be assessed … I again want to stress that we are quite determined about reconsidering bread prices,” he said. 

The official price of 250 grams of bread was increased by 25 kuruş in Istanbul and Ankara in January, hiking the price to 1.25 Turkish Liras in Istanbul and 1 lira in the latter.