October 10, 2011


Kazakh monthly grain exports to rise



Kazakhstan intends to increase monthly grain exports to one million tonnes from November and build new elevators to enhance storage, according to the country's agriculture minister on Friday (Oct 7).


Asylzhan Mamytbekov, visiting elevators in the grain belt north of the capital Astana, said Kazakhstan would be able to ship a minimum 10 million tonnes of grain this season and was in the process of securing extra rail cars to move it to port.


"In October, we plan to reach an export level of 650,000 tonnes. From the following month, we plan to export one million tonnes every month," Mamytbekov said at a Soviet-era elevator in Akkol region, 100 km (63 miles) north of Astana.


Kazakhstan, the world's seventh or eighth-largest wheat exporter in a typical season, is forecasting a grain harvest approaching 25 million tonnes this year, which would be the biggest since independence from the Soviet Union 20 years ago.


The ministry said in a statement that Kazakhstan had so far harvested 90% of the 16.2 million hectares sown to grain this year, an area roughly the same size as Tunisia.


It had threshed 24 million tonnes by bunker weight with an average yield of 1.65 tonnes per hectare, or 0.77 tonnes per hectare more than last year, when severe drought reduced the total crop to 12.2 million tonnes from 20.8 million in 2009.


The bumper crop, like those in Russia and Ukraine, portend a recovery in Black Sea exports, making for a competitive market this season with prices at a level allowing the region to regain Middle East and North African markets from rivals.


Ukraine's parliament on Friday cancelled export duties for wheat and corn.


"We have the potential to sell more than 10 million tonnes without any problem and loss to the domestic market," Mamytbekov said at another, newly opened elevator near the town of Makinsk.


"There is demand for Kazakh grain, because its quality is much higher than any other. You can perhaps compare it with Argentinian or Canadian wheat," he said.


Kazakhstan exported 5.9 million tonnes of wheat and flour in the marketing year to June 30, 2011.

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