Kazakh poultry farms suspend operation due to feed shortage

07-06 | |
Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva

Kazakhstan poultry producers scramble to source enough grain to keep their poultry farms running, as the Russian ban on grain exports to the Eurasia Economic Union left the local market in short supply.

In mid-March, the Russian government restricted wheat export to Kazakhstan. Being traditionally cheaper than Kazakh, Russian grain was the main source of feedstuff for local poultry farms, the Kazakh Union of poultry farmers told to local newspaper Kapital, estimating that the restrictions provoked a price hike for feed wheat from 120,000 tenges ($275) before the ban, to 160,000 tenges ($367) in April.

“Poultry farmers need 750,000 to 800,000 tonnes of grain per year. Due to the ban on the export of cheap grain from Russia and the shortage of Kazakh grain, we buy it at 160,000 tenge per ton, excluding VAT,” said Raziya Zhatakpayeva, chairman of the Kazakh major poultry producer Alel Agro JSC, adding that the price of feed grain tripled over the past three years.

Sanctions have led to a sharp rise in the price of absolutely all imported stuff. Feed, vaccines, disinfectants, packaging materials, premixes and amino acids have tremendously jumped in price.

Farms suspend operations

Some farms have reportedly been forced to suspend operations due to a lack of feed grain.

“Here is just one example of how difficult the situation with feed is in the [poultry] industry: in the Akmola region, AgroInvest poultry farms, 100,000 laying hens have died of starvation since the beginning of the year. The factory is now shut down,” said Ruslan Sharipov, President of the Kazakh Union of poultry farmers.

The Kazakh government has ordered grain exporters to sell a 10% of exported grain to a special fund established within the State Food Corporation to pass the collected quantities to poultry farms. However, this measure has not improved market conditions yet, Sharipov said.

EU sanctions on Russia impacting Kazakh farmers

In addition, Kazakh poultry farmers complained that Western sanctions have hit supplies of a broad range of commodities from the European Union, which used to be supplied to the country through Russian distributors.

“Sanctions have led to a sharp rise in the price of absolutely all imported stuff. Feed, vaccines, disinfectants, packaging materials, premixes and amino acids have tremendously jumped in price,” said Yerlan Murzagaliev, general director of Kazakh poultry farm Otan Green Food.

Jeopardised import-replacement campaign

The current crisis presumably could undermine the plans rolled out by the Kazakh government earlier this year to achieve self-sufficiency in chicken meat by 2025.

In 2021, poultry meat production in Kazakhstan totalled 283,000 tonnes, Sharipov said, adding that this figure has been constantly growing during the previous several years, jumping by 57% compared to 2017. The domestic consumption stood at 427,000 tonnes last year. Kazakhstan imports poultry meat from Russia, Belarus and the US.

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