USDA office in Astana currently estimate the Kazakhstan wheat crop at 16.0mmt, up significantly on last year’s 13.7mmt crop.
The Kazakhstan Ministry of Agriculture reported that, as of October 3, farmers had harvested 97% of the wheat crop, collecting 22.5mmt of all grains in bunker weight, with an average yield at 1.5mt/ha.
However, as with much of the Black Sea region this year, quality is being called into question.
Kazakh farmers report the 2016 crop is unusually poor with low gluten content making much of the wheat unusable for milling and intensive rains during the summer causing a number of problems including septoria, rusts, undeveloped grains and high moisture content.
Apparently many farmers had wanted to apply fungicides but dealers were unable to meet demand due to low supplies and agronomists are reporting yields for crops treated with fungicides at 1.8mt/ha and fields not treated yielding 1.0 - 1.2mt/ha.
It’s reported that farmers are holding on to grain waiting for the price to rise, which makes sense, with a few sales taking place for immediate cash flow needs but bearing in mind it’s pretty much all spring wheat then there’s not much cash flow needed until February/ March.
USDA Astana estimate wheat exports will be 8.2mmt on the back of the bigger crop with the Russian grain transporting company, Rusagrotrans, saying Kazakhstani wheat will be in demand from Russia, particularly the better quality stuff, and the rouble/tenge exchange rate will make the price for Kazakhstani wheat very attractive.
All of which will only increase the amount of feed wheat available in Russia this year that will soon be looking for a home.
(n.b. we are investigating extending our crop assessment service into the Kazakhstan wheat growing region for 2017 if we can generate sufficient support, drop me a line if you would like further details)