The Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan has developed a draft order to ban the import of wheat by road into the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan for a period of 6 months. This draft was published on the Открытые НПА portal on March 29, the public discussion of the document will last until April 5.
“Introduce a six-month ban on the import of wheat (commodity nomenclature code for foreign economic activity of the Eurasian Economic Union: 1001), except for seed wheat (commodity nomenclature code for foreign economic activity of the Eurasian Economic Union: 1001 11, 1001 91) to the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan by road”, - says the draft order of the Ministry of Agriculture.
According to market participants, the ban on wheat import by road to Kazakhstan was initiated by the acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and restrictions are planned to be introduced from April 10-12.
APK-Inform previously reported that such a measure aims to support domestic farmers and keep prices for Kazakh wheat, which are under heavy pressure from cheaper Russian grain.
The ban on the import of Russian wheat was sought by industry associations – the Grain Union of Kazakhstan and the national association of exporters KazGrain.
At the same time, KazGrain offered to introduce a complete ban on the import of grain from the Russian Federation by both road and rail for 3 months in order to stop the fall in grain prices for domestic farmers. According to exporters, it makes no sense to separately prohibit the import of grain only by road transport, since the gray import of wheat by rail will continue. However, KazGrain's proposal was not supported.
The Union of Grain Processors of Kazakhstan has repeatedly stated that the country annually loses up to $500 mln due to the large volume of a smuggled grain of Russian origin on the market.
Previously, experts estimated the volume of annual illegal imports of Russian wheat to Kazakhstan at the level of 1.5-2 mln tonnes.
Already in half of the current season, the total import of wheat from Russia to Kazakhstan reached 2.5 million tons. According to the Grain Union, about 50% of this volume falls on illegal supplies. That is, already in 6 months of 2022/23 MY, the smuggling of Russian wheat almost reached the annual level.