World Grain - June 2020 - 22

COUNTRY FOCUS

(in 1,000 tonnes)

15,000
12,000
9,000
6,000
3,000

2020-21**

2019-20 *

2018-19

2017-18

2016-17

Exports

2015-16

0

2014-15

22

Kazakhstan wheat production, exports

2013-14

fall, higher precipitation last fall and during the winter have
increased soil moisture, which is expected to lead to more average yields for MY 2020-21," the report said.
The USDA said its forecast of a small rise in barley proGXFWLRQ WR  PLOOLRQ WRQQHV IURP  PLOOLRQ UHÀHFWV
higher expected yields that will compensate for a small reduction in area.
"However, spring sowing will not begin for a number of
weeks, and as a result, yield forecasts are extremely preliminary," the report said.
There is a trend to increase oilseed area, which the attaché
expects to reach 1 million hectares, up 122,000 in 2020-21.
"As a reminder, the bumper wheat harvest in 2012 caused
D FROODSVH LQ .D]DNKVWDQ DV LQVX൶FLHQW VWRUDJH FDSDFLW\
caused large grain losses," the attaché said. "As a result,
the government began to promote planting of alternate
higher value crops (oilseeds) to diversify farmers' incomes
and to vary exports."
This initially led to higher subsidies for oilseeds
than wheat.
"Though crop-specific subsidies have now been eliminated, this program contributed to the significant increase
in oilseed production in Kazakhstan in the last 10 years,
as well as the consequent decline in wheat area," the attaché said.
The country's government responded to the COVID-19
pandemic by announcing export restrictions and bans
for a range of food commodities. For wheat grain, there
was an export quota for April of 200,000 tonnes a month,
ZKLOHIRUZKHDWÀRXUWKHOLPLWZDVWRQQHVDPRQWK
A plan to ban their exports altogether was dropped amid
SURWHVWVIURPWKHÀRXUPLOOLQJVHFWRU+RZHYHUH[SRUWVRI
EXFNZKHDWEXFNZKHDWJUDLQVDQGVXQÀRZHUVHHGDQGRLO
among other products, are not allowed.
³0LOOHUV DUH FRQFHUQHG DERXW WKH ZKHDW ÀRXU UHVWULFtions," the attaché said in an annual report on the sector,
pointing out that the number of active mills in Kazakhstan
IHOOIURPLQWRLQ³$YHUDJHZKHDWÀRXU
exports were previously around 2.8 million tonnes, but last
year exports reached just 1.4 million tonnes."
The report explains that the fall was partly due to increased milling of wheat from Kazakhstan in Uzbekistan,
drawing calls from millers for limits on wheat exports.
"Millers claim that export restrictions will create an exFHVVVXSSO\RIERWKJUDLQDQGÀRXUDQGWKDWLQFUHDVHGGHmand for food in other countries amid the spread of COVID-19 could have helped the companies recapture losses
LQFXUUHGODVWDXWXPQDQGDOORZHGPLOOVWRVWD\DÀRDW´WKH
attaché said.
The Ministry of Agriculture increased the export quota
IRU0D\WRWRQQHVRIÀRXUDQGWRQQHVRI
wheat, including 230,000 of food grade wheat, 20,000 of
IHHGZKHDWDQGRIRUJDQLFZKHDW
In an article published by Forbes on March 26, Dos-Mukasan Taukebaev, director of the Mutlu milling company,

Production *Estimated **Projected

Source: US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service

commented on the fall in mill numbers between 2018 and
2019, when 90 mills had closed.
"On average, 150 people worked for each," he said.
"That is, 13,500 Kazakhstanis were left without work."
The industry has been plagued over the last 10 years by
the development of milling sectors in neighboring countries and by increased freight costs.
CURRENCY PROBLEMS
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in the value of Kazakhstan's currency, the tenge, against the
US dollar. According to the attaché, the tenge declined by
16% in March 2020.
"The US dollar exchange rate to Kazakhstani tenge had
increased from 382.05 tenge per $1 on March 16, 2020, to
444.80 tenge per $1 by March 26, 2020, and it continued to
grow," the report said. "The last major depreciation happened
LQ  7KH H[FKDQJH UDWH ÀXFWXDWLRQV PD\ LPSDFW WKH DIfordability of imported inputs such as fertilizer and seeds."
The attaché reported on May 15 that the Kazakhstani Ministry of Agriculture has announced plans to remove export quoWDVIRUVWDSOHSURGXFWVZLWKH൵HFWIURP-XQH
"Despite some hiccups related to quarantine restrictions,
VSULQJSODQWLQJH൵RUWVDSSHDUWREHSURFHHGLQJQRUPDOO\´WKH
latest report said. "The government, including President Tokayev, has consistently stressed the importance of ensuring a
successful planting season."
The report also explained that Kazakhstan has long controlled prices of certain stable food items, such as basic loaves
of bread.
"As part of its COVID-19 response, the government created
D SDQHO WR FUHDWH FHLOLQJ SULFHV IRU SURGXFWV LQFOXGLQJ ÀRXU
EUHDGSDVWDEXFNZKHDWULFHEHHIHJJVDQGVXQÀRZHURLO´WKH
June 2020 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com


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World Grain - June 2020

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