Wednesday, August 15, 2012 -
Central Asia's largest wheat producer Kazakhstan aims to reap 14.6 million tons of grain this harvest, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.
“The harvest will total around 13 million [metric] tons. This figure will be subject to further adjustment,” the ministry’s executive secretary Eugeny Aman said during an online conference hosted by Kazakh news site Bnews.kz.
If those figures are attained, this year’s harvest will be roughly at the same level as the 2010 harvest but far short of that of last year. Kazakhstan reaped a record 29.1 million tons of wheat in 2011, a 120 percent increase over the previous year.
Drought and extreme heat have cut into projected harvests not only in Kazakhstan, but in Russia and Ukraine as well.
Despite the production shortfall compared with 2011, the Astana government has no plans to introduce any restrictions on its export of grain, he said. The country’s silos still hold more than 9 million tons of holdover grain from last agricultural year’s whopping harvest.
Kazakhstan’s expects to export around 13.4 million tons this year.
The country exported some 16 million tons of grain in 2011.
Its traditional buyers are Central Asian neighbors Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, as well as Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.