Turkey has announced that it will impose a 130 percent tariff on certain grain imports, including wheat and corn, from May 1, according to a presidential decision published in the Official Gazette.
This move is largely seen as an effort to protect the local agricultural sector ahead of May 14 elections.
Some traders have also suggested that the move could be in response to recent bans on grain imports from Ukraine by some European Union countries, which have caused a glut of grain and have been damaging local farmers’ livelihoods.
Before the new tariff, there had been no duty on wheat, barley, rye, oats, corn or sorghum up until April 30, as stated in a previous regulation. But with the new decision, a 130 percent import tariff will be imposed on grain imports from May 1.
Turkey’s wheat and barley harvest starts in May, and the government had previously reduced the duty on grains and other agricultural products in late 2020. The tariff was eliminated about a year ago.
The Turkish government recently announced significant energy and infrastructure projects in the lead-up to the May 14 elections. Opinion polls suggest that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been in power for two decades, could fail in his bid for re-election.