December 29, 2011
Kazakhstan to reach a million-tonne grain export
Kazakhstan's state railway monopoly will ship one million tonnes of the country's record grain harvest for export in December, it stated on Wednesday (Dec 28).
Kazakhstan Temir Zholy said its grain exports in the three months to December would rise by 147% from the same period last year, as the country steps up shipments to the Caucasus and ports on the Black Sea and Baltic Sea.
Ex-Soviet Kazakhstan, one of the world's top 10 wheat exporters, this year harvested a record grain crop of around 26 million tonnes by clean weight, more than double the 12.2 million tonnes harvested in drought-affected 2010.
The Agriculture Ministry said Kazakhstan exported 2.2 million tonnes of grain from the new harvest between September 1 and December 20. A further 1.7 million tonnes had been shipped domestically, the ministry said.
The ministry said on December 21 that a lack of rail cars had hampered December loading of grain for export. It said 480,900 tonnes, or 43.7% of planned volumes, had been loaded.
But Kazakhstan Temir Zholy said in a statement that it would fulfil its maximum one million-tonne export plan for the month.
"To accelerate the processes connected with exporting grain, we are cooperating more closely with the rail administrations of Russia and Central Asian states, across whose territory our grain and flour must transit," the state rail company said.
"We are also taking measures to accelerate the rate of grain exports to Azerbaijan, Georgia, ports in the Black Sea-Azov Sea basin and the Baltic Sea," it said.
Kazakhstan Temir Zholy said 67,550 rail cars had been loaded with grain since September. It said that flour exports in September-December had risen to one million tonnes from 655,000 tonnes in the corresponding period of last year.
Though officials say Kazakhstan's grain export potential this season could reach 15 million tonnes, an official at state-owned grain trader the Food Contract Corporation said on December 5 that exports would probably not exceed about 10 million tonnes, including flour in grain equivalent.
Kazakhstan exported 5.9 million tonnes of wheat and flour in the marketing year to June 30, 2011.