Kazakhstan Maintains Grain Export Levels

• Category: Kazakhstan
ALMATY (Bloomberg, Caspionet) – Kazakhstan, the biggest wheat producer in Central Asia, won’t curb grain exports this year even as drought persists in the main grain-growing regions, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement distributed today.

The country plans to ship about 10 million metric tons of grain in the season that started July 1, according to the statement. In 2011, Kazakhstan harvested a record 26.9 million tons of grains but cut this year’s crop forecast to only 14 million tons because of dry weather. Since January less than 100,000 tons of grain were exported, mostly to Iran.

The rise in prices on the world commodity markets has an impact on the cost of Kazakhstan grain. As of July 19 the ETS futures price for third class wheat for October delivery was nearly 25 500 tenge per tonne. The January contract traded in a range of 26 000 per tonne. Analysts attribute the increase, which lasted for more than a month, to the situation on foreign markets.

Because a smaller crop is forecast, Kazakhstan’s state grain trader (JSC National Co. Food Contract Corp.) will probably not buy cereals this season particularly that stockpiles are ample following purchases of last year. The company purchased 5 million metric tons of grain last year from the 2011 harvest, According to the Statistics Agency, Kazakhstan stores more than 9.5 million tonnes of grain of which 2 million tons held for state inventories will be milled to make flour and sold on the domestic market at fixed prices. The rest will be sold at market prices, according to the CEO of JSC.