October 24, 2011


Kazakhstan utilises rail trucks for huge harvest storage



Kazakhstan is using rail wagons as an alternative to store grains as the country's harvest was exceptionally huge.


Kees Vrins, former boss at Allseeds, said that the neighbouring Black Sea country had been forced by a huge harvest, and a shortage of export logistics, to consider a range of alternative means for storage, including lorries on laybys.


"Kazakhstan is using rail trucks to store wheat. There is a large amount of wheat in Kazakhstan, but they do not know how it will get to ports, and when." Vrins told.


But Russia's logistics are struggling to deal with its own strong harvest and rapid start to exports in 2011-12.


The comments came as Asylzhan Mamytbekov, the Kazakh agriculture minister, said that the country had reaped 28.2 millon tonnes of grain by bunker weight before cleaning and drying with 99% of harvesting completed.


With bunker weight typically 8-10% higher in the country than the more widely used clean weight figure, the data suggest a final result of potentially 26 million tonnes, trouncing the current post-Soviet record of 20.8 million tonnes, set two years ago.


Mamytbekov has previously forecast a 2011 grains harvest of 22 to 23 million tonnes.


USDA, whose estimates set world benchmarks, last week lifted its estimate for the Kazakh wheat harvest, the vast majority of grains output, by three to 19 million tonnes, citing abundant moisture and near-perfect summer weather.


Vrins, who is restarting Allseeds, stressed the importance of transport capacity even in Ukraine, whose ports were going to be running at full tilt just to cope with corn exports, after a record 17.5 million tonne harvest.


"That is going to keep ports busy for the next four to five months," he told.


"Why would they export oilseeds when they can carry corn? That's why you need your own ports." he added.


Transport infrastructure was also important in guaranteeing quality, an increasingly important factor, as Ukraine had highlighted three years ago in a scandal of contamination of vegetable oils with mineral oils, leading to a ban on exports to the EU.

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