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Country Briefs

  Kazakhstan

Reference Date: 14-December-2018

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Area sown with 2019 winter wheat estimated below average level

  2. Cereal production in 2018 estimated above average level, mainly due to record barley output

  3. Barley exports in 2018/19 expected at record levels

  4. In November, export and domestic prices of wheat higher than year earlier

Area sown with 2019 winter wheat estimated below average level

Overall conditions of 2019 winter wheat crops, planted by the end of November to be harvested between June and September next year, are reported to be satisfactory. However, above normal precipitations, low temperatures and frosts in the southern provinces of the country, the main winter wheat producing area, were observed in October-November, which delayed land preparation and planting operations. As of early December, a thick snow coverage, which seasonally prevents crops from freezing, was observed in Almaty Province, southeast of the country, while it was still insufficient in Zhambyl and Turkestan southwestern provinces.

The area sown with 2019 winter wheat is estimated to be below the average level, reflecting a Government directive to progressively reduce all wheat (spring and winter) planted area from an estimated 12.4 million hectares in 2017 to 10.1 million hectares in 2021 in favour of more profitable oil crops.

Cereal production in 2018 estimated above average level, mainly due to record barley output

Harvesting of the 2018 cereal crops finalized by end October and total production is estimated at 21 million tonnes, 6 percent more than the above average level in 2017.

Barley output is estimated at a ten-year high of 4.2 million tonnes, following larger planted area and high yields.

Production of wheat is set at 15 million tonnes, 6 percent above the five-year average, as high yields, resulting from abundant rainfalls in the northern regions (where 85 percent of wheat is grown), more than offset the contraction in the planted area. In the same regions, excessive soil moisture affected the quality of grains.

Barley exports in 2018/19 expected at record levels

Aggregate cereal exports in the 2018/19 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 10.6 million tonnes, above the previous year’s level and 26 percent above the five-year average. The projected increase rests mainly on record shipments of barley, which are forecast at 2 million tonnes, about three times above the average and 40 percent more than the 2017/18 marketing year, amid bumper production and strong demand from international markets. Wheat exports are expected to remain unchanged from the previous year, at 8.5 million tonnes, still 13 percent above the five-year average level.

In November, export and domestic prices of wheat higher than year earlier

Export prices of milling wheat are continuing their upward trend, which started at the end of last year with the weakening of the national currency. In November 2018, prices were 19 percent higher than a year earlier on the backdrop of crop quality losses and strong demand from neighbouring countries.

Domestic retail prices of wheat flour strengthened seasonally and they were slightly higher than in November 2017.

Prices of potatoes, another important staple, have been decreasing since June 2018 and, in November, they were significantly lower than a year earlier.

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