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Weather reduces grain harvest in Kazakhstan

Времето редуцира зърнената реколта в Казахстан

Drought in June, followed by excessive rainfall in fall 2023 in Kazakhstan's main northern grain-growing region, is expected to severely reduce the country's wheat and barley production in the 2023-24 marketing year, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service ( FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture.

In its February 28 report, the Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN) cut its 2023-24 wheat crop forecast for the Central Asian nation to 12.1 million tonnes, down 26% from 16.4 million tons from the previous year. Barley production is forecast at 2.6 million tonnes, down 20% from 3.3 million tonnes.

"The quality of wheat and barley is reported to be significantly compromised, resulting in a surplus of feed grain," FAS said. "While strong competition from Russia and lower quality negatively impacted wheat exports from Kazakhstan, barley exports were supported by strong feed demand from the Chinese market."

According to industry representatives, only 21% of Kazakhstan's wheat this year qualifies as bread, 29% qualifies as feed, and the rest remains unclassified for now. The quality of the barley was also degraded by the weather and testing showed higher than normal levels of mycotoxins and aflatoxins.

From September to November in the 2023-24 marketing year, Kazakhstan exported 2.1 million tonnes of wheat and wheat flour, down 20% from the same period a year ago. Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan remain the top three buyers.

Based on lower wheat production and strong demand from China for quality feed wheat, FAS estimates wheat and wheat flour exports for 2023-24 at 10 million tonnes, an increase of 500,000 tonnes y-o-y base. Barley exports are expected to reach 1 million tonnes, up 125,000 tonnes from last year.

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