January 28, 2014
China may become major market for Kazakhstan's grain exports
China may become one of the major export markets for Kazakhstan's grains in the future, according to Meyrzhan Maykenov, deputy chairman of the National Agency for Export and Investment - Kaznex Invest Jsc, at a press conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, on January 15.
Agreement on the supply of flour and grain from Kazakhstan to China was reached at the meetings of the heads of the two states in April and September 2013. In December 2013, the Food Corporation of Kazakhstan exported around 10,000 tonnes of wheat to China. Currently, further talks on increasing exports are planned.
Despite the fact that China is near and transportation costs are low, the negotiation process was delayed due to China's strict conditions for packaging and transportation of grain from other countries, as well the sanitary and epidemiological requirements. This is in addition to the fact that China supports its producers by imposing quotas for foreign suppliers of grain, Maykenov said.
Farm ministry officials in Kazakhstan, Central Asia's biggest grains producer, pegged the domestic harvest at 18.98 million tonnes, a sharp increase on last year's 12.9 million tonnes harvest.