Kazakhstan, being one of the largest producers and exporters of wheat in the world, exports only about 20% of grain outside the former CIS and Central Asia. Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran remain the key buyers.
Uzbekistan, being the leading importer of Kazakh wheat, has imported 1.6 mln tonnes of grain since the beginning of 2021/22 MY (July-January), down 22% y/y.
Tajikistan, being in the second largest importer of Kazakh wheat, also reduced purchases in the first half of the season to 610 thsd tonnes, down 5% y/y. At the same time, the country imported 49 thsd tonnes of grain in January 2022, down 36% compared to January 2021.
Iran significantly increased import of Kazakh wheat in 2021/22 MY and took the third position in the rating. The country bought 410 thsd tonnes of the grain in July-January, up 16 times y/y. Thus, the increase in supplies to Iran more than compensated for the decline in exports to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan by more than 80%.
The TOP-5 importers of Kazakh wheat also included Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. The shipments to Afghanistan remained stable, while Turkmenistan increased purchases to 234 thsd tonnes, up 13 times y/y and up 8 times compared to the full 2020/21 MY.
In total, Kazakhstan exported 3.6 mln tonnes of wheat in July-January of the current season, up 5.9% y/y.
There was the positive dynamics in the supply of Kazakh wheat to premium markets. In particular, in July-January 2021/22 MY, export to Italy increased by almost 5 times to 215 thsd tonnes. Also, deliveries to Azerbaijan increased by 8.5 times (to 121 thsd tonnes) and to Turkey by 6.3 times (to 27.6 thsd tonnes). Small volumes of wheat were exported to Latvia (9.9 thsd tonnes), Norway (3.0 thsd tonnes) and Switzerland (2.4 thsd tonnes), which were not buyers of Kazakh wheat in the same period of the previous season.
The global market is familiar with Kazakh products that will offset at least partially the missing volumes of exports from Ukraine and the Russia.
However, logistics is the main obstacle for the development of Kazakh export potential and the reorientation of export flows. In the absence of direct access to the “big water”, Kazakhstan needs to increase the capacity of logistics hubs. First of all, this concerns the port of Aktau. Today, this issue is more global and requires prompt decisions to be made together with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, so that more Kazakh food can enter the global market.
The issues of Kazakh grain export and its access to new premium markets, reorientation of export routes and new supply chains will be discussed at the international conference Asia Grains & Oils Conference 2022, which will be held on April 7 in Nur-Sultan, Rixos President Astana.
Economists, analysts and experts from international analytical agencies and leading Kazakh companies will be the key speakers at the conference.
Kazakh Grain Union is a general partner of the event.