April 24, 2013
Kazakhstan posts record grain exports despite drought
Between July 1, 2012 and April 1, 2013, Kazakhstan exported 5.2 million tonnes of grain, compared to 8.3 million tonnes during the same period the previous year.â€©
The country, which is central Asia's largest grain producer, could potentially export a further two million tonnes of grain by the end of the current marketing year, Sagintai Zhumazhanov, head of the ministry's land development department, said.
According to the ministry's report, it is due to water saving technologies that allowed farmers to collect 12.9 million tonnes of grain in 2012.
"This amount not only meets the needs of the domestic market, but also allows exporting some 7.8 million tonnes," the ministry said.
Commenting on reports that Egypt was considering resuming wheat imports from Kazakhstan after a two-year hiatus, Zhumazhanov said, "If they wish, we are ready to sell. I have told you about our remaining potential ... so they are welcome to partake of this chunk of the pie."â€©
Zhumazhanov said Russia and the EU had become important new destinations for Kazakh grain exports this marketing year. Kazakhstan suffered a severe drought last year but still exported a record 12.1 million tonnes of grain in the last marketing year.