November 8, 2011
Kazakhstan's gross grain crop reaches 29.7 million tonnes
Kazakh gross grain crop hit a record 29.7 million tonnes, more than twice of last year's crop, according to the Agriculture Ministry on Monday (Nov 7).
The ministry gave no data for this year's crop by clean weight.
The vast Central Asian steppe nation gathered a total of 13.9 million tonnes of grain by bunker weight last year, when the harvest was hit by a severe drought.
Quoting official data, Interfax said that the average yield was 1.85 tonnes per hectare this year, more than double of last year's average of 0.9 tonne.
After the nation of 16.6 million completed 90% of its harvesting last month, Agriculture Minister Asylzhan Mamytbekov forecast a 2011 grain crop 22-23 million tonnes by clean weight, which would be Kazakhstan's largest since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Beibitkhan Kabdrakhmanov, chairman of the management board at state-owned grain trader the Food Contract Corporation, said the crop could be even higher, at 23-24 million tonnes by clean weight.
In Kazakhstan, bunker weight is traditionally around 10% higher than clean weight. This suggests that the crop could be even higher than these forecasts, exceeding 25 million tonnes.
Kazakhstan sowed 16.2 million hectares of grain for this year's crop, an area roughly the same size as Tunisia. This includes an area of 13.8 million hectares sown to its main crop, wheat.
Kazakhstan harvested 12.2 million tonnes of grain in 2010, when the crop was badly affected by drought across large parts of the former Soviet Union. In 2009, it set the standing post-Soviet record of 20.8 million tonnes.