September 2, 2011


Kazakh wheat to face Russian, Ukrainian rivalry



Kazakhstan's 2011-12 wheat exports will face hard competition from Russia and Ukraine, which are able to supply overseas markets at lower price levels, an agricultural analysis body said Thursday (Sept 1).


"Strong pricing competition from Russia and Ukraine will be the main problem for Kazakhstan," Svetlana Synkovska, marketing manager at APK-Inform.


Kazakhstan's grain harvest in 2011-12 is forecast to be 19.2 million tonnes, up 60% on the year, according to a report by the USDA. The wheat harvest is forecast to total 16 million tonnes.


The USDA has pegged Kazakh wheat exports in 2011-12 at 7.5 million tonnes, but Ukrainian APK-Inform said it doubts the country will hit that target.


So far this marketing season Kazakhstan has been unable to secure wheat orders from Egypt, the world's largest importer of the commodity, unlike neighbouring exporter Russia.


Last week, Egypt's state-owned wheat buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, said it bought a total of 180,000 tonnes of Russian wheat for shipment October 21-31 and 120,000 tonnes of Russian and Romanian wheat for November 1-10 shipment.


Still, Sergey Feofilov, general director of Ukrainian analysts UkragroConsult, said Kazakhstan is likely to be able to offer wheat at more competitive prices as the country moves further into the marketing season and produces more wheat.


Kazakhstan, along with Russian and Pakistan, will be able to supply healthy volumes of wheat to Central Asian countries this year, Feofilov said. "If Ukraine does not increase its grain exports this year, Kazakhstan could export more wheat to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East," he said.


Influential analyst Strategie Grains said last month it expects global wheat production in 2011-12 to hit 678 million tonnes, up seven million tonnes from its previous estimate, due to improved harvests in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

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