December 23, 2011
Iran may stop buying grain from Kazakhstan
Iran may end Kazakh grain exports because of US and international sanctions which results in the increase of Iran's grain price by 30%, according to KazakhZerno reports.
Barley exports have stopped completely. The sanctions do not ban grain exports themselves. However, many banks refuse to work with clients having business in Iran, fearing to be blacklisted by the US Treasury.
The US is capable of monitoring practically any payment in the world through its banks. Discovering forbidden transactions takes only a few seconds. Most world banks obey US rules.
The situation may cause chaos in Iran and losses to Kazakh grain dealers and the state budget.
Kazakhstan harvested a record 30 million tonnes of grain and needs to export 15 million tonnes. Iran purchases 90% of Kazakh barley and 30% of grain.
According to the Ak Biday Terminal, 100% of Kazakhstan's grain in October and November was sent to Iran. The terminal may end up without work unless the situation is resolved.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) said that Iran produced about 20 million tonnes of grain in 2011, exceeding the volumes in 2010 by 6.5 million tonnes.
KazakhZerno reported earlier that construction of the Uzen-Gorgan Railway will allow Kazakhstan to increase its transit and export potential to five million tonnes by 2012 to Iran and through Iran to Afghanistan and the ports of the Gulf.