Kazakhstan’s state grain trader has no plans to buy cereals this season because a smaller crop is forecast and stockpiles are ample following purchases last year.
“We probably won’t buy grain this year,” Beybitkhan Kabdrakhmanov, chief executive officer of JSC National Co. Food Contract Corp., told reporters in the capital city of Astana on Friday. “It is expected to be harvested much less in comparison with last year.”
The company purchased 5 million metric tons of grain last year from the 2011 harvest, of which 2 million tons held for state inventories will be milled to make flour and sold on the domestic market at fixed prices, he said. The rest will be sold at market prices, according to the CEO.
Kazakhstan, the biggest wheat producer in Central Asia, harvested a record 26.9 million tons of grains in 2011, according to government statistics. This year’s crop is forecast at 14 million tons because of dry weather, Kazinform quotes Bloomberg.
The government plans to support agricultural producers affected by a persistent drought in main grain-growing regions, Agricultural Minister Asylzhan Mamytbekov said today, without elaborating.
JSC has exported less than 100,000 tons of grain since January, mostly to Iran, according to Kabdrakhmanov.