Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest grain producer, has increased its export forecast to 9.5 million tonnes in the 2013-14 marketing year after raising its grain crop forecast to 18.5 million tonnes, Asylzhan Mamytbekov, Kazakhstan’s Agriculture Minister, said on the Ministry of Agriculture’s web-site.
The country had planned to reap 16.3 million tonnes of grain by clean weight this year. It had previously forecast grain exports of 7-8 million tonnes in the current crop year.
Kazakhstan annually consumes between 7-8 million tonnes of grain, Mamytbekov said.
“Taking this (higher harvest) into account, we plan that our export potential will also rise to above annual average and reach between 9.0 million and 9.5 million tonnes,” he said.
Lower exports last marketing year followed a poor grain crop in 2012, which more than halved to 12.9 million tonnes by clean weight from a post-Soviet record of 27.0 million tonnes in 2011.
This year’s harvesting campaign in the main grain-growing regions in northern Kazakhstan had been delayed by heavy rains. The harvest is expected to be over by late October.
Of the total amount of grain threshed, only 2 million tonnes have reached elevators to date, Mamytbekov said. “It’s mainly wet grain that’s coming in right now,” he said, and the bulk of harvested grain has to be dried on threshing floors.