Despite the increase in planting areas to the maximum level in the last 10 years (up to 13.72 mln ha), this year the wheat harvest in Kazakhstan will not exceed 12.5 mln tonnes (against a record 16 mln tonnes in 2022). This forecast was expressed by Daulet Uvashev, director of Harvest Kazakhstan LLP, during his speech at the international conference “Asia Grains&Oils Conference in Tashkent 2023” in Tashkent.
He clarified that the decrease in the production forecast was due to unfavorable weather conditions during the growing season (drought) and harvesting (heavy rains).
At the same time, the speaker expressed hope that the weather in Kazakhstan will improve, and the harvesting progress will significantly accelerate.
The expert expects that, in the current season, the export potential of wheat from Kazakhstan will be about 9.5 mln tonnes (grain + flour in grain equivalent). In 2022/23 MY, grain deliveries to foreign markets, according to Harvest Kazakhstan estimates, were 1 mln tonnes higher (10.5 mln tonnes), which was the largest figure since 2011.
“The main sales markets will remain the countries of Central Asia – they account for about 69% of all supplies of Kazakh wheat. Despite the pessimism at the beginning of last season, we managed to preserve the markets of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. We increased the volume of wheat exports to Afghanistan and began shipments to China in April. Tajikistan has also returned to its usual volumes of imports of our wheat,” said Daulet Uvashev.
The speaker noted that in 2022/23 MY, non-CIS countries accounted for 27% of Kazakh wheat exports – this is slightly higher than the average over the last 5 years. This season, grain deliveries to China and Afghanistan are expected to grow, which could expand the share of exports to non-CIS countries to 30-35%.
At the same time, in his opinion, wheat imports into the Republic of Kazakhstan will also decrease in the new season – it could amount to 1.8 mln tonnes compared to 3 mln tonnes last season.