Friday, 6 January 2017

Kazakhstan grain harvest up 20%

This year’s Kazakhstan grain harvest reached 23.7mmt, up almost 4.0mmt or 20% on last year with an average total grain crop yield of 1.54mt/ha.

The Kazakh Minister of Agriculture reported the harvest will fully cover domestic demand leaving an export potential of 8.5 to 9.0mmt consisting mainly of wheat but also a small amount of barley.

Kazakhstan is in the world’s top ten wheat producers growing high protein spring planted milling quality but with the short growing season are highly dependent on rainfall to produce viable yields.

The upshot is that despite relatively stable plantings of 12-13mha, production and consequently exports fluctuate from season to season with highs of 11mmt and lows of 5mmt in recent years.

The current marketing year grain exports stand at 7.9mmt, up 12% on the previous year.

The Kazakh government are keen to support farming and in 2013 the Ministry of Agriculture released a Master Plan for “The stabilisation of the grain market” through to 2020 setting various goals and targets such as increasing crop production by 30%.

One key policy that is of interest is the government want to reduce milling wheat hectares in favour of feed grains presumably to convert in to meat, milk and eggs for added value exports.

Having spent the last two days on line watching the UK’s Oxford Farming Conference and the lack of any detail as to what will happen to farming post Brexit (the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs actually said we don’t have a policy), the idea of a central Master Plan seems rather appealing.